I was a blogger once. A self-assured, let me tell you all about my life and instruct you how to do what I do kind of blogger. I posted weekly, sometimes daily, worrying little about the people that wouldn't love my work or whether or not I was qualified to share it. I dispensed advice that I cringe at the thought of, shared personal details I probably should've kept to myself, and declared myself an expert on whatever I was working on.
I look back and have no idea how I used to do that. With the help of increasingly worsening anxiety and a large dose of imposter syndrome, I now lack the confidence to do any such thing. My blogging has been reduced to vacation reports and end-of-the-month book wrapups I can justify posting because they are full of "this is just what I thought" and "even if I didn't, you might like this book" and "this book really spoke to me personally." The idea of dispensing advice or sharing my work or standing by an opinion makes my gut twist.
I thought that by creating a fresh new space for myself, one dedicated to documenting my adventures in trying new things, starting out as a beginner, learning different crafts, and developing skills, I might find that confidence again. I built this entire website on the disclaimer "I'm just a beginner" and "this is just what I feel like talking about" and "I don't know what I'm doing but I'm going to do it anyway." Yet when I sit down to write about these experiences, the voices begin screaming at me.
"You don't know what you're talking about."
"You aren't a writer, don't call yourself that."
"Get a degree and then you can talk."
"No one cares about this new thing you're doing."
"And how long are you going to stick with this latest project?"
"Get a real job."
And so I stay silent, even in this safe space. I hate these voices. I hate how they hold me back. I hate that I can't do this thing that used to bring me joy and give a sense of community with people with similar interests. I hate that twisting in my gut when just for a moment I think my experiences, my work might be valuable enough to share. I hate that these voices might eventually quelch any confidence I have in my work, so I can no longer be creative or have any kind of career or platform doing what I love.
I don't want to be quiet anymore. I want my creative voice to be louder than the negative voices in my head. I want to share the things I'm working on. I want to revel in these rough new beginnings and embrace change. I want to ask questions and admit I don't know everything. I want to learn from the people that do know more. I want to shamelessly talk about the passions and projects that bring me joy, even if I just started it yesterday or have no clue what I'm doing. I want to hear (or in this case see) my voice and know that it's okay to say the wrong thing sometimes, to share work I might eventually hate, to talk about a thing I'm doing that I may abandon in a few months. And to not feel shame in any of that.
I'm setting a goal here and now to be a blogger again. A not super assured but I'm going to say it anyway because this is what I care about kind of blogger. If your response sounds similar to the negative voices in my head, you're welcome to unfollow or keep reading to mock me. But I won't tell you I'm an expert or pretend I know everything or tell you what to do. I'm simply going to share about the things I'm passionate about, the many passions that might change or morph or disappear in time. And I won't feel any shame for that. Because I'm doing what I love.