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Writing like no one is watching

Right along the lines of perfectionism and procrastination is the terrible, awful, crippling habit of avoidance. Avoidance is different than procrastination in that I try my darndest, not to delay a task, but to avoid ever doing the task I dread.

This habit most definitely stems from perfectionism—if I feel as though I have failed in some way, it is so disturbing to me that I seek to somehow never face up to whatever it was that made me feel like a failure again. Ever. Even if I have to alphabetize the bookshelf, re-wrap the lights on the Christmas tree, or write snail mail letters to avoid my email, I take avoidance seriously. And it is driving me crazy.

One of the things I am ashamed to say I am avoiding is writing a new post for this blog. Two years ago, when I started blogging, I was pretty certain no one would ever read my posts. And I was OK with that—my inner thoughts were just out there, floating. It provided some creative release without revealing anything to anyone.

Don’t get me wrong—I’ve always wanted to be an active blogger. I was just a little scared of what people would think of what I thought, or that I don’t have anything all that interesting to say.

Then I was freshly pressed. I realize how very fortunate that is, and I am very grateful. I was truly humbled and inspired by the response to my previous post “Having it all, or losing my mind?” The response was overwhelmingly positive and encouraging, and I am so thankful for each person who took the time to read and comment.

So I should be relieved, right? Unfortunately, not quite.

I began to think about the list of ideas I had for future posts. Suddenly, they all seemed terrible. People may actually be watching and reading now. I had to raise the bar! Cue the avoidance.

I don’t want this to come off as though I have no confidence in my writing. It’s just, in typical “me” fashion; I have analyzed and avoided the situation to the point of paralysis.

However, like so many of the other challenges I’ve faced, the only way for me to feel better about the situation is to write about it. In order to un-avoid the situation is to write it out as honestly as possible—as if no one is reading.

Of course, if you are reading—thank you. I really will get better about this!

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9 thoughts on “Writing like no one is watching

  1. I also have the avoidance gene, it is a hard thing to alter and get in and do it. I enjoy reading your posts, keep it up and maybe you will turn it into an avoidance of not posting 😉

  2. Writing like no one is reading is a brilliant idea. That’s when you’re writing from the heart, when you silence the inner critics and any potential reader naysayers. Great post!

  3. That’s exactly how i write! I would not want to ever keep a diary, but in a sense that is exactly what my blog is. I DO want people to read my blog, because I love sharing my experiences and lessons with others, and getting feedback from others! It’s also very fun to read other’s blogs! Just like “Simplyenjoy” said, writing like no one is reading is the best way to do it. It allows you to truly write from your heart!

  4. I read your previous post and will be following! I feel the same way about my blog. It’s for me, my family, and whoever stumbles upon it. A little piece of my creative brain lingering amidst millions of others. I look forward to reading more and again, good luck on your search for balance.

  5. I like where you said, “I was just a little scared of what people would think of what I thought, or that I don’t have anything all that interesting to say.”
    I felt like that for so long! I wouldn’t let anyone read my writing unless I absolutely had to. My college writing teacher encouraged me to start putting my writing out there after I wrote an essay on grief. I finally gained the courage to start a blog 🙂 and here I am. I think your blog is great 🙂 thanks for sharing this.

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