Thursday, May 8, 2008

PEER FEAR

This past week I have had a form of writer's block. Lot's of ideas have been cluttering my thoughts, but I have not been able to capture them on paper. After much inner debate and ignoring the itch to express my opinions, I think I may have found the reason. I believe the scientific name for this malady* is "Paranoid Excessively Engineered Retreat from Friends' Extremely Appalled Reactions" or PEER FEAR.

I have always been better at expressing myself in written form instead of verbally. If something is bothering me or if I am feeling down, I ache for a blank piece of paper and a pen. I will go up to my bedroom and sit in the chair beside the window and write. Another favorite escape is to go to breakfast or a bookstore by myself, grab some coffee and write in my journal. This feeling that I NEED to write has been stronger lately because I have been "testing the waters" with the idea of being a writer. Notice I did not say "author", but writer. That is because I am still trying to define what my dreams about becoming a writer are and where they might take me. I don't have goals to write a novel or become a syndicated columnist. For now I write and that in itself is very fulfilling.

Because I have been writing more lately, I started sharing some of what I had written with Trey or sending emails to friends. I received some positive feedback (shout out to Sara, Melissa, and Trey), I decided to start a blog. The ideas was for this to be a place to post what I had written and to share with others. Once I started posting, I realized that I had sent the link to my blog to basically EVERYONE I know. The second I hit that "send" button last week, my nerves became unhinged. The realization that I had just opened myself up to your opinions, criticism, or (even worse) indifference started to sink in. Shortly afterward, I sent the following email to Trey. Please forgive the dramatic diva overtone.

"Trey, Hi. How is your afternoon? Well I have been a blogger for exactly 1 hour and 47 minutes and I have ZERO comments, responses to my email or feedback. I'm sure that I have annoyed everyone with my extremely LONG posts and they really just want me to go away. Otherwise, why haven't they responded how much they enjoy my writing and that it just changes their lives to see things from my point of view. Don't they know the entire world revolves around me today?

Ok - I got that out of my system. But seriously, posting what I write does leave me open to other's opinions and that makes me nervous. At least you love me and will always give me some sort of feedback (you do always have something nice to say). I love you for that. - S"

Wow, that is an extreme case of PEER FEAR. I blame it all on you really - YOU, the one who is reading this blog right now. I mean it had only been a little over an hour and I had not received one single response! Picture yourself at a concert, surrounded by people and the band on stage has just finished singing a new song off their CD and after the last note - there is silence. No roar of applause, no flame from a lighter for an encore. Just Silence. Then I realized that I am focusing on the wrong things. That same band can sell millions of records because their songs are heard on the radio - and there is no applause after hearing a song on the radio. Who drives down the highway with a lighter in hand, begging for an encore? (just go with me on this, I am trying to make a point).

This week I was hit by PEER FEAR pretty hard, but I realize if I am ever going to be a writer that I have to get over it. I have had lots of ideas to write about this week, but I have been too concerned about my audience. I have been worried about writing something that interests you, that you agree with, or that you want to read about. However, I realize that this blog is not about you - it is about me and it should be a place where I can express myself without PEER FEAR. So I make no apologies about my future postings, if you don't like them feel free to give me some feedback. If you do not agree with my opinions, challenge me. Or just ignore reading this altogether and I will not know the difference. By the way, I need to give another shout out to Nettye, Greta, Mark (Opa), Mom and Jenny for coming through and giving me some nice responses. Without them I may have shut down the Suiresphere forever.

Just to keep you interested, I plan on writing about the following topics very soon:
30 Day Prayer Challenge for your Husband - This involves complimenting your husband and praying for him on a daily basis, which really means a lot of work for you. Your husband also thinks you might be nuts or doing something behind his back because suddenly you can't say a mean thing about him!
Dollar a Day Dollar Store Food Challenge - The news has been reporting about the increase in the price of food and how families are challenged to make their money stretch during these tight financial times. The Dollar store sells food - I wonder if I can feel my family on a dollar a day (per person)?
Sophia's First Trip to the Zoo - We are taking her to the zoo on Saturday and I can't wait to see her reaction to the animals. She just learned to roar like a lion! I hope to get some good pictures too.

Check back soon and as always, your comments are appreciated!
Stephanie

*(Mal-a-dy - disorder or disease of the body, especially one that is deep seated).

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