Squeak! My gut feels like it’s shoved tight up against my diaphragm. There is a peculiar, not-comfortable, constricted sensation running from the top of my stomach, up my sternum, all the way to my neck. And I have to focus if I want my breaths to be any more profound than the edge of a zero-depth pool. This is me, Mouse, entering not just the blogosphere, but the entire realm of social media as myself, for the first time.
To clarify: I’ve had a website before. For about two seconds. It was back in the stone ages, even before MySpace. I used it to post pictures of my kids, and I’m pretty sure the only people who visited it were family members, so it felt pretty safe. I’ve also joined discussion boards in the past. Four times, to be exact. But never using my real name, so that felt safe, too. (Also, I don’t post on those sites anymore, for reasons I will probably never discuss here.) However, it is my goal this week to change all of that, and in the process change my life. (Hey, it ain’t gonna change itself.) Two days ago I joined Good Reads. As myself. Today, I’m writing my first blog post. As me. By the end of the week, I am going to get up the nerve to create a Facebook account.
I’ve frowned on social media for a long time. I’m an aspiring writer, butI don’t think my life is interesting enough that people would want to read about my mundanities. I write fiction for a reason. And I have no desire to cultivate farm animals or have people throw penguins at me or whatever. So I’ve shrugged it off. Avoided it like it’s a food allergy. But I’ve come to realized I’ve been lying to myself.
The reason I haven’t put myself out there is because I’m scared.
First off, I’m afraid of rejection. As I mentioned, I’m an aspiring writer, and I deal with rejection all the time. But I’m not very good at it. Every rejection letter from every agent cuts me to the bone, no matter how nice they try to be. Because I let it. I have to get over that. And I have got to get over my fear of putting myself out there, because the self-doubt is crippling me. (Not to mention, I can’t go crying to my good friend Bourbon every time someone turns me down….)
Then there’s Facebook. Facebook terrifies me. (So much so that I can’t even type “Facebook” properly: I’ve had to redo it three times now for typos.) Facebook presents the possibility of people rejecting me not just for my fiction, but for the reality of who I am. I don’t want to admit to the world that I’m not at all successful or where-I-want-to-be with my life. Also, there’s the paralytic thought that someone will find me who I don’t want to find me. Yeah, there’s a specific someone like that for me (again, something I will probably never discuss on this blog), but I have to get over my fears!
Otherwise I might as well go live in a closet.
I don’t expect anyone else to read this post, since it’s my first and I have no idea how to publicize it. But if anyone does, I’d be curious to know how you got past your fears (whatever they were), and how you deal with rejection.