I’ve always been a bit of a nomad. Growing up, I never spent long in one place – usually only a couple of months before moving along to the next new thing. My mother was running, always running and it seems I picked up that habit. I don’t know how many primary schools I went to, for example, because I lost track. I sometimes wonder if I went to every school on the Mornington Peninsula. I remember spending two weeks at one school before we moved along to the next place. It’s been much the same throughout the rest of my life too. Habits become deeply ingrained and now I get restless if I stand still for too long.
Of course, all this is merely to say (to state the obvious…) that I have once again moved, but this time I speak only of my digital abode. I made the mistake recently of reading back through my blog, a rookie mistake if ever there was one. It’s like reading a diary from your teenage years – nothing but cringe. I am not the person I was a year, two years ago so it was like reading the inane ramblings of a stranger. The site I was using no longer fits me and I’ve been feeling like I needed a change. My old blog got stagnant, between its drivel and my reluctance to believe that maybe it’s okay for me to put my words out into the ether. Besides, aren’t “they” always saying that a change is as good as a holiday? I look at this new location in the way that one would a new suit or dress – my old wardrobe was no longer suitable or reflective of my style and personality, so I’m trying on something else.
I’m often found suffocating myself under my own self-doubt. How much of that is a product of my less than positive upbringing and how much of it is merely an innate part of the personality of a writer? Or any creative type, really? Putting yourself out there is a terrifying thing: to lay yourself bare, vulnerable to a metaphorical flaying from critics can be nerve-wracking. I’m reluctant and shy even in the act of sharing something I wrote with friends, people who will generally tell me how great my work is even when it’s at its most shit. And sparkles bless ‘em, I love them for it, but it’s still a daunting thing. To be a writer is to be seen, and that’s a terrifying concept for someone who has spent their whole life doing their best to be invisible, as I have. As a survival mechanism, it has been effective in serving that purpose but all it does now is hold me back. I’m done with that. It’s scary but when has that ever stopped me?
Every time somebody asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, the answer was always the same: a writer. Well, I’m apparently a grownup now, and I need to start taking myself seriously (but not too seriously). I feel fraudulent calling myself a writer, and yet that’s exactly what I am. I often wonder if most writers feel the same way. When does one feel comfortable giving themselves that title? When we get paid? Published? When we stop thinking we suck? I’m choosing now, though it’s going to take some wearing in.
So here’s to putting myself out there and settling in for the long haul. It’s nice to have you here.