What fear have I conquered?

I think we’ve already established I’m not a brave person. You won’t catch me bungy-jumping, skydiving, or downhill skiing, but…

…some years ago, I took a summer school course with the Northern Nevada Writing Project because I wanted to incorporate more writing into my teaching practice. Little did I realize that one of the basic principles of the program was to “practice what you teach.” To that end, we wrote (and wrote and wrote…) every day, and then–here comes the scary part—we shared what we’d written with others in the class. In pairs and small groups. We listened and critiqued each other’s work. We edited, rewrote, and reshared. Over and over again. I got comfortable with the process, at least with people in the class.

I took the next baby step and joined a writers’ group affiliated with that course. Again, we shared and sought feedback on poems and essays or whatever.

Another baby step was (timidly) asking to join a cadre of women who contributed to a weekly column in our local newspaper, The Nevada Appeal. I got into the habit of seeking feedback from my writers’ group before sending it off to the paper. They helped me polish those pieces. I got better. For the most part, those hundred or so columns were well-received by readers. One particularly pointed column even rated a response from then Secretary of Education, Rod Paige in which he accused me of “the soft bigotry of low expectations.” That was fun.

Another larger step was to participate in National Novel Writing Month and write an actual book. Or at least I thought it was a book until I shared it with another writers’ group, the Lone Mountain Writers. They said the writing was good but didn’t see a story. Ha! They helped me shape those 100K words into something resembling the novel that I published in 2020.

So, I’ve conquered the fear of sharing my writing. Mostly. I only feel a little trepidation when I hit SEND now. Here goes…

3 thoughts on “What fear have I conquered?

    1. Thank you! Yes, blogging gets you into the habit of writing, which is key. Don’t worry about shaping it into anything yet. Just get it on paper. You can always edit it later. But you can’t edit a blank page. I recommend seeking out online resources and/or your local community college to learn more about the craft. Good luck!

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