I’ve been writing here for more than a year now and it still feels like a wonderful thing to share thoughts in progress, record aspects of my practice, and connect with others on similar-but-different explorations of their own. (Thank you all who follow and comment).
But at the beginning of the year I also started writing in print under my own, real name. And this is a whole new ballgame. I don’t know how much it’s the lack of anonymity and how much it’s the different medium — solid printed magazine rather than an ephemeral and delete-able blog. I find I weigh my words and write more cautiously. I still enjoy doing it, but — ironically enough — I sometimes struggle to be me when I’m writing more obviously as myself. Each piece emerges from a wrestling match with my shyness and my reticence. But I choose to do it anyway because I think hovering on the edge of my comfort zone is a good place to be — it helps me explore and re-calibrate what I’m comfortable with. And most of all I hope in my writing I have something to offer whoever reads.
This week, spurred on by chatting with one of the PR folk at work, I set up a Facebook page to link to my public writing and to give me a platform for making connections. But of course this is only worth doing if I actually promote it and invite people to it. So that means starting with my FB friends and working out from there.
And suddenly this is even more uncomfortable and disquieting than the original writing! I have to find confidence all over again that my writing is worth reading. Not just because Hubby read the draft, not just because the editor approved it, not just because a loyal friend tells me each month how great the copy is. And more than that it’s mixing up my worlds, with me straddling them precariously, feeling off balance, exposed and open to judgment. I feel I might need to explain the new me that’s emerging. And my friends might not like it.
I know — of course the opposite is equally true and they might love me! The whole vulnerability thing — it’s big, isn’t it? It’s worth doing because it’s so blood-freezingly scary and because when it works the sense of connection and value and love is palpable. After the blood-freeze comes the head-rush of feeling as though you’ve really done something, that in some small way you’ve helped someone. Because I don’t want it to be about me, really I don’t. I’m not especially ego-driven in this respect. I’m not expecting commendation and I don’t get off on seeing my name in print. In fact I feel slightly sick when the edition comes out each month that I can barely look at it.
I guess I’m just craving connection and I feel that the message of yoga is worth sharing — if only I can hear it properly through my practice and then voice it appropriately through my writing.
And connection today is largely about social media. So it’s back to Facebook and the need for some self-promotion.
… Until the time when I just start doing yoga randomly on street corners and hope people join in with me…
… Or I could set up a class. Now how might I go about doing that, I wonder… 😉 !!