I recently wrote my first article for the school paper. With the exception of directing a few of my good friends to this blog, this is the first time I’ve written something that will be read by people I know. My name will be associated with the words. I won’t be hiding behind a computer screen and rambling on about whatever I feel. Unlike a blog, there’s a certain degree of permanency associated with the printed word. There is some exposure in writing about that which you don’t necessarily know in and out- reporting in a relatively unbiased way about a topic that is supposed to appeal to the general student population, not just to me or to other people with whom I share experiences.
Perhaps understandably, writing the article took me a long time. I spent a lot more time analyzing the words I put down on the page. I thought a lot about the implications of my statements, I edited my work thoroughly. I tried to approach the topic with a more editorial eye than I do with my blog. Here, I basically spout off any idea that comes to mind. Here, I am raw and exposed in theory, but at the same time quite protected. Sure, there are pictures of me on my blog- not closeups, maybe, but pictures you’d recognize if you knew me. However, there’s still certain anonymity in the blogosphere. What I find to be one of the more bizarre things about the world wide web is that it connects us all, but in a way it also isolates us. I sit in my living room behind my little white laptop and blog about my life, about my experiences. I open up my heart and soul to a computer screen and an unknown audience, and I feel quite comfortable doing so. I tell my whole life story, unsure if anyone even reads it. It’s therapeutic, and often an unconscious deluge of sentences.
While I don’t hesitate to blog about personal things, as well as more impersonal things, I really had to step out of my comfort zone to write an article destined to a different kind of audience. It’s interesting, in my opinion, that I fear the judgment of my peers more than anyone else. Maybe, though, its more common than I think. For who are we trying to impress (if we are trying to impress anyone) more than our peers? I wish I could say that I don’t care what people think about my writing, but I do. To be sure, a certain degree of dissent is pretty much guaranteed when one writes anything- not everyone is going to see things the way I do, nor is that something I desire. Certainly, in blogging or in writing essays or in drafting articles, I am only stating the facts as I see them. Do I hope that people will read my thoughts? Yes I do. Does that also scare the living daylights out of me? Why yes, it does.
I really pushed myself to expose myself via writing, just as I’ve pushed myself to get back into dancing (which I’m loving, and managing in a very healthy way) or to apply for a job (which I got!). For something I’m learning is that the clichés sometimes do apply- you really do have to put yourself out there to get what you want out of life. Exposure… what a scary thing to do- and yet how rewarding it can be.