Putting yourself ‘out there’

Visitors to my blog may be wondering why I haven’t posted in a while. It’s not just because of the Christmas rest period – although that has been a great switch off from constant thoughts of writing.

I have a very strict rule when using social media – I never write anything to another person that I wouldn’t say to their face. To do otherwise would be cowardly.

Not everyone has this rule, and for those that do it translates differently for each person. Some people have no qualms about being rude or sarcastic or arrogant to a person they’ve just met.

A question I asked in a forum before Christmas was replied to in a manner I felt was very rude. It had misunderstood my question (wilfully?) and posted a reply that (ironically, for a writer’s site) didn’t make sense. Yet it was flooded with pseudo outrage that suggested I was asking something not just illegal but also immoral.

I wasn’t.

Being a (private/hypersensitive/bordering on reclusive) writer I was shaken by this ‘attack’. It reminded me of the hazards of promoting oneself on the internet and the recent words of more than one artist, ‘I only use it to promote my music/photography’.

The experience made me ask myself, ‘Who am I really writing for? What is my true aim?’

It’s rumoured J D Salinger wrote a number of manuscripts that he never showed anyone. We know Emily Dickinson did. Is this such a bad way to work? Is producing a piece of work valid if no-one else experiences it? (Sure. You just can’t use it to pay the gas bill.)

Does anyone else feel uncomfortable ‘putting themselves out there’? How do you balance this?

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2 comments on “Putting yourself ‘out there’

  1. I used to be afraid of “putting myself out there” until I realized that I can learn from the negative experiences just as much (if not more) as from the positive ones. It’s the silence I hate.

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