Old Diary

Courage to speak

Recently I wrote a post about friends’ blogs that have gone silent. I have been thinking how people come to begin writing and how they come to cease from writing.

It takes a lot of courage to show

your dreams to someone else.

— Erma Bombeck

Recently I was watching a TV program about actors in a particular program and one of the actors commented that “it was fun playing that person because there were self-confident…” and in context it was apparent that the actor saying that was one who in their personal life did not feel particularly self-confident.  How odd, I thought.  You put yourself in a position where people are always observing you, and judging you, and yet you are not confident at all about what you are doing.


This whole area of “self confidence” is something that gets talked about a lot.  One would conclude that residents in the United States are suffering from an epidemic of lack-of-self-confidence.  At least that is what the popular media seem to promote.  But then promoting self-doubt is good for a lot of businesses and the media do exist to make a profit, don’t they!

Writing, blogging, is an activity that depends on self-confidence.  It does indeed take courage to show your dreams to someone else, to tell your stories, to share your life, to anticipate the future.  When one puts pen to paper, or pounds on a keyboard, there is an impetus to communicate which precedes that urge.  It’s not just the formulation of the idea you want to communicate — though that can be rough in itself.  But there first exists some sense that what you have is worthy of sharing.confidence

Why do some people think they have something to share, while others cringe from exposing themselves in such a soul-baring manner?  I’m not shrink, and I’m not even sure I want to venture into that world.  It’s not my job to judge why people do things.  I’m more about observing.

Surely the impetus to share a story is not the result of simple ego.  And I know enough writers to know that introverts and extroverts are equally likely to put their words on paper.  Somehow this idea that people just might be interested in something you have to say breaks through the shell of self to set one’s pen free.writing in notebook

The courage to share is not about whether you get the words correct on paper the first time you try.  Composing, editing, revision: these are all components of of a process. But the willingness to share has to precede all else.  The desire to share makes our stories better.  Absent desire our stories are bland and lacking in detail.  With desire added in our brain goes to work to flesh out the details making the characters more alive and making the circumstances believable and fully real.

This motivation to write, to share, is a scary thing but for some of us there seems no way to stop it.  I know that for myself I go through cycles of greater and lesser motivation to actually do the work of writing, but I never seem to go through a lack of thinking about writing.  Even if I’m too darn lazy to get off the sofa and crank up the laptop I still find myself writing blogs in my brain. It doesn’t matter if I don’t write them down; I’m composing even if I’m not actually writing.cowardly-lion

I have said in the past that part of the reason I blog is that the process helps me make sense of the world, of life’s experiences, of life’s challenges.  That is true — is that why I never seem to stop blogging internally?  Is that simply the way I live?  I don’t know.  But I do know that words have always been a big part of my life.  Before I blogged I wrote letters.  To everyone.  To Peggy to be sure.  But also to others I barely knew.  There have been times I corresponded to a few dozen people at the same time.  Part of that was because I was working for a small journal and I would correspond with readers — not so much as a matter of fan-mail or reader feedback but because I had gotten to know them through some kind of face to face encounter and corresponding was a way of maintaining that relationship.  Now, as a blogger I write fewer letters. Perhaps my desire to communicate is satisfied by blogging?  I’m not sure. I have tried journaling by pen at home, and I seem no longer to be interested in sustaining that.  Then again, as I age there are a number of things I am no longer interested in sustaining — so that might not be a telltale about my desire to communicate! 😃 😃

4192373a78daac60c62344ea552bc825--about-us-our-kidsI agree with Erma Bombeck.  I do  think it takes courage to share your dreams, your hopes…. even your stories of past life.  You risk ridicule for sure.  But the rewards for yourself and for those you communicate with are more than payback for the cost.  So, if you aren’t sharing, if you are afraid to expose your dreams and your hopes and your goals — I encourage you to screw up your courage and carry on.


7 thoughts on “Courage to speak

  1. “Somehow this idea that people just might be interested in something you have to say breaks through the shell of self to set one’s pen free.” —Like me, I read blogs because I’m interested in other people’s stories. I get to learn many things and enjoy the photographs and the creative way people express themselves. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your thoughts. ❤

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  2. anitastories says:

    I remember that post about friends’ gone silent.
    The entire subject of beginning and ceasing to write intrigues and scares me at the same time.
    Why I decided to finally expose my internal blogs is always evolving.
    From the need to share or express my current perspective to the fulfillment that comes from creating something.
    Thanks for the encouragement there at the end, will keep it.


    • People have such differing views on friendships gone silent. Some parts of me (the majority) just attributed face-to-face friendships that have gone silent to new chapters in life. One can’t always, and sometimes ought not to, keep everyone who’s ever been in your life still in it. Some relationships have a lifespan that bears respecting. Then there are those others… and like you I’m not always sure what to do with them.

      Glad to be an encouragement. This world of blogging takes the medieval practice of writing/journaling to places humans never really considered — but in the doing of it we have all (I suspect) found that there are more people like ourselves than we ever guessed.

      Sometimes that’s great. We all need to know we aren’t alone.

      Sometimes it’s not so great. Murderers, human traffickers, pedophiles, etc., do not do society any good when they discover there are others with their same predilections. And I personally wish they never did. But, no device is strictly all good, or all evil. It’s always about the use to which we as humans put things.


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