When I started writing online a few years ago, I thought the biggest, hardest, baddest thing possible would be for an internet troll to attack me, but when I published my first post, I discovered there might be something even worse than that.
No internet trolls attacked my post, but also NO ONE responded. I mean no one...not a like, not a comment, not a peep.
I had spent so much time worrying about trolls, I never even considered the possibility of the pain of being ignored.
It felt awful. All the bad thoughts came rushing in. Everyone hates this. Everyone hates me! Red hot face. Lying in bed filled with shame. My heart clenched in that squirmy tight feeling. What had I done? I was so embarrassed.
I was deep in a shame spiral and vulnerability hangover.
I had been authentic in that piece. I had said things I really felt and believed, and the story I told myself was that no response meant everyone in the world had read it and hated it.
I came to learn later that actually most people hadn't seen it, because of algorithms, and something I've discovered about my community is that many of you are introverts and tend not to respond in the moment. It takes you some time to think about what you want to say and how you want to say it.
But I didn't know that on that day. I was just in the deep squirmy ickiness of feeling totally rejected.
Have you ever had an experience like this? Have people not responded to your writing and it tripped all your triggers? What stories did you tell about your writing when this happened? What emotions came up for you?
This can be such a challenging experience for a writer. We usually write for readers, and so when it looks like no one is reading our work it can hurt the most tender parts of our hearts.
Today, I have a couple mindset tips for you that I've picked up along the way. They have held me in good stead over the years, keeping me coming back to the page again and again. I hope they can do the same for you.
I learned this one from Amanda Palmer's memoir, The Art of Asking, which is a great read if you're an artist who wants to share your work with the world.
In the book Amanda Palmer talks about her early days as a musician, and how she used to earn her income by being a statue busker in Harvard Square.
As a statue, she would stand still for hours and hours watching people walk by her. Hundreds of people would walk by every day, ignoring her. They were busy, they had places to go. They didn't have an opinion either way of her art, they just didn't notice.
But then every once in a while, someone would stop, put a coin in the basket, and she would come alive and give them a flower. Some days more people than usual would stop, and other days less people would. She learned that this is how art can work sometimes.
We put our work out there. Some days lots of people will notice. Other days people will walk on by. They're busy, it's ok.
This is how the internet is. It's filled with a billion people, many of whom scroll by, going about their business, and your writing is available for them to stop and look at along the way.
The more days you put your art out there, the more chances there are for people to stop and notice your writing, and for them to receive the gorgeous treasure of your words.
Amanda Palmer went out rain or shine, day after day, and that's what we do, too, knowing there will be those shining moments when we get to exchange the beautiful flower of our idea with someone else.
When I discovered writing online would be so triggering for me, I started doing soul connection meditations and oracle card readings for myself to help boost my confidence.
Whenever I felt tight and anxious and lost in a mind f***, I would pull a card asking for the truth I needed to see to help me show up and write.
During one of these meditations a truth came to me that has become an integral part of my writing mindset. The truth was my writing wasn't necessarily about the people who might read my work. In a big way, writing and hitting publish was about my own healing journey.
Publishing on the internet triggered so much of my early family trauma and cultural toxic beliefs. Each time I wrote there was a new opportunity to see a pattern and to seek truth and healing for those triggers. It was also a journey into building my courage muscles and learning how to take up space in the world with my voice.
So I knew, even if no one ever responded, writing and hitting publish would change and heal my life, if I used it as a healing journey for myself.
Here are some questions to ask yourself as you write and publish your words:
How has writing this piece changed you? How have you become more brave in your life because you wrote and hit publish? What ideas have you gotten to explore? Who are you today and how is that different from before you wrote?
What opportunities for healing and spiritual growth have you noticed? Where can you become less codependent? Where can you become more grounded? What has been triggered in you that you now get the blessed opportunity to seek help for?
The interesting thing about writing is that no matter what, YOU will be impacted by sharing your voice. So why not write and hit publish and then do it again and again and again?
And, if you do write, share your post with me! I would love to read your work, and I'll respond by letting you know what I liked about it. I'll let you know what resonated with me and what I would love to hear even more about.
P.S. You can find out lots more about shame spirals and vulnerability hangovers by reading Brene Brown's book, Daring Greatly.
P.P.S. Do you worry people won't read your writing because more famous people write about the same thing? If you do, this is the day to sign up for a Write With Purpose Oracle Card Reading to help you discover why people want to hear from YOU.
Hi, I'm Emma Veritas!
I'm a writer, blogging coach, personal development teacher, and oracle card reader. I've been writing inspirational blogs, newsletters, and social media posts for 6+ years. This practice has grown me, and calls me ever deeper into healing everything that stops me from showing up as my true self. It has changed my life, and it changes the lives of my readers everyday.
I graduated with my Bachelor's degree in English from the Honor's Program at the University of Massachusetts, where I wrote my thesis on the power of story during hard times.
I completed Martha Beck's Life Coach Training.
I'm an endorsed Soul's Calling Coach.
I am an Advanced Reiki Practitioner, and I have been studying energetic healing, meditation, and the intuitive arts for 15+ years.
I am a life long learner in the craft of writing, most recently completing courses on fiction writing and plot development through WritersHQ.
Want to start writing? Download 3 Habits to Calm Your Fear and Get You Writing.