The True Fear In Writing

Putting my writing up on display has never been easy. It’s never been as simple as a “Look at me, look at what I can do.” And the more personal the writing is, the scarier it is to share. So as a result, I find myself detaching myself from my writing; either by generalizing it, or using the third person point of view.

But I’ll put fear aside for this one time. So listen closely, because this is me.

I write when I feel lost; when I don’t even know what I’m feeling until it’s been written down in front of me. And all it says, is everything about how I felt in that very moment that I wrote it. Yet, nothing about where I will go from there.

I’m hardly inspired to write when everything is fine and dandy. I’m hardly inspired to write when I have everything figured out. Writing, for me, is when things are falling apart, and I need words to jog my contemplation. So what I am inspired by is heartbreak, and weakness, and failure. And what I risk: the world believing I’m weak.

I’ve heard a fellow writer talk about how it’s scary putting yourself out there, and not having your writing impact anyone at all. And it is. It’s scary, knowing that this is what I feel, yet no one out there might relate to or understand it.

It’s scary to have someone read it, and say “I don’t get it” and “That doesn’t make sense.” It’s scary to think that my words have flown over their heads.

But you know what? It’s scarier when they haven’t.

Because I am out there, for people to interpret as they please. To call me out on whatever they feel needs calling out on. To use me as a half-painted canvas, and connect the dots where they see fit. Some people will be friends. Some won’t. And they won’t even have to know my name when I am laid out before them, letting every crevice be vulnerable to exposure.

It’s scarier knowing someone does relate, and someone does understand. It’s scarier when someone can feel my pain and see all the foolish, shallow things that affect me. It’s scarier when someone sees the “You hurt me” behind my formatting, and the “I crave love” behind my rhyme schemes. It’s scarier when someone can see past my words, past my writing, me.

It’s scarier when someone sees me.

But it’s the scariest, 
when someone thinks they see who I need to be.

It’s scariest when someone says, “You have to be strong” and “Pick yourself up off the ground.” It’s scariest when someone says “I know what you want” and “Let me tell you what you need.” And it’s scariest when someone says, “Learn to love yourself.”

Because what I write about is sad, and pathetic, and weak. And it lets you decide, who I was when I wrote it.

And that is the risk I take. And will willingly take over, and over again.

Because I write when I feel lost; before I’ve figured myself out, before I’ve learned my lesson. I write while still putting the pieces together and a piece, the wrong one, can inspire a plethora of worded emotions to follow. But that does not mean that I am broken and I am weak. I get broken, and I have moments of weakness. And only I, myself, can tell me what I need.

The true fear in writing isn’t in writing itself, but in having it being read.

Because in writing, I am only me. But in reading, I am whoever you choose to see. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog