Writing my first blog post was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life.
I wrote my first post seven years ago, and up until that point, writing had always been on the periphery for me. Yes, I loved literature and was a devoted English major.
Sure, now and again a story would fly through me, get recorded on a Word Doc, and end up lost somewhere on my computer.
And, yeah, my bosses always complimented me on my ability to write a clear email.
But writing, like the kind of writing I dreamed of doing, was something I put off for the future.
I knew I wanted to write someday, but I had no idea when that someday would be until seven years ago, when I found myself starting an online business and writing a blog.
This was the kind of writing I had dreamed of doing. I was writing my own thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about the world, and sharing these ideas with others who would hopefully be helped by the wisdom I had learned from my life experiences.
It was the first truly vulnerable writing I had done, maybe ever, because this wasn't for my private journal anymore. This writing was for the public.
In all my fantasies about writing, I hadn't once considered how terrifying it would feel to put my truth on the page and publish it online.
I mean, my family was going to read this thing! My friends! My work colleagues! I was pretty sure they would all think I had gone crazy once when they read this heartfelt post about something I really believed.
As I sat in front of the computer and started to write, I was shocked by the intensity of my fear. My fear was then amplified by all the critical voices in my head.
I heard the whiny, wet blanket critical voices of my family.
I heard the staunch and serious critical voices of my college professors.
I heard the mean and vindictive critical voices of my playground bullies.
They were all saying the same thing:
"This is terrible. You're a horrible writer. You're so freaking weird. Everyone is going to think you're insane."
Honestly, these were the voices that popped up every time I tried to do something interesting or creative in my life, and up until that point they had always stopped me. There are so many interesting ideas I never pursued because of those voices.
The fear was so intense, I had to sit back and do a meditation where I connected to my soul to hear the truth of what could help me write.
During this meditation I had a sudden insight which changed everything forever.
All of a sudden I knew, deep in my bones, that writing my blog wasn't about the potentially critical people who might read and respond to my work.
The purpose of writing and sharing my blog was actually about freeing my own voice.
I knew if I wrote that post, and kept writing, I would break free from the trap of the inner critic.
I also knew if I chose to back down and not hit publish, I would continue on as I always had - living in a cycle of shame that kept me away from my dreams.
It turned out the purpose of writing and hitting publish wasn't just for my readers. It was for my own healing journey.
This realization helped me take the first tiny steps on my path, because I really wanted to be free of those critical voices.
It took me about a month to write my first post. Getting my creativity flowing was a slow process.
When I finally hit publish I was totally scared, but also really proud. The critical voices in my head hadn't stopped me this time.
I didn't share my first post on social media. Instead, I took some time to get used to the idea of my words being on my website for anyone to find.
When my entire life didn't come crashing down, I slowly wrote another post and emailed it to my best friend.
After surviving that I kept slowly writing and including more people in my circle of sharing. Each time I wrote and hit publish I faced the voices of my inner critics and broke free from them a little more.
I started off by saying simple truths that felt possible to share. Overtime I shared harder truths, at least for me.
I found out it was possible to experience a vulnerability hangover and live.
I discovered it was possible to share my work and feel proud, not squished like a tiny bug by shame.
I found out it was possible to receive appreciative responses, not just nasty criticism, from readers.
The more I wrote and shared, the more courageous I became. My soul voice got stronger and stronger, and I felt freer and freer.
The effects of this rippled out beyond my blog.
When I had an idea for a children's novel, I didn't immediately dismiss it. I actually wrote.
When I found myself needing to say vulnerable truths to people I love, I found myself saying them.
When I had an idea for an online book club where we would read Women Who Run With the Wolves by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, I was scared but did it anyway!
The choice I made that day, to show up and do the scary thing to heal my voice, has literally changed my life.
When I talk about sharing your writing, I am not talking about a frivolous pursuit.
I am talking about the transformative power sharing your voice can have on your life.
I am talking about getting to experience the wonderful satisfaction of doing the creative work you long to do.
I am talking about how writing what you really want to write helps you say what you really want to say and do what you really want to do in life.
Freeing your voice on the page creates freedom overall.
And then the best thing happens.
The freed voices of women who came before me had helped emboldened me to write.
Now my free voice ripples outwards to other women, encouraging them to write.
And your free voice will ripple outwards too, and encourage others.
This is the magical thing: even though writing often happens in isolation, while we're alone on our computers or with pens in our hands, when we share our writing it has the power to change the whole world.
P.S. The path I took to start sharing my writing on the internet worked really well for me. Taking tiny steps with my vulnerability helped me build my courage muscles over time. However, I believe the path to sharing your writing is unique for everyone. What steps are right for YOU?
From now until this Monday February 1, I am offering a special oracle card reading to help you answer this question. The Path to Sharing Your Writing Online is designed to help you get unstuck and start sharing your writing on the internet by helping you discover the steps that are right for you. Find out more and say "Yes, Please" to this powerful reading today!
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.