Your body shakes, your stomach churns, you think that people will stare right through the story and see what a fake you are, or worse yet, that they'll see the truth in your soul and that they'll laugh.
In a million different variations, at a thousand words per minute, I've thought these things, and felt these things. Every time I submit a story to a publication, or click that bright blue WordPress blog button that says 'Publish', I feel it in my gut.
But where does the uncomfortable feeling come from?
- You're trying something new, reaching for a new technique, and experimenting with what's possible.
- The story touches upon something true emotionally, and that can make you feel vulnerable. It's deeper. It's personal. It's your blood spilled on the page.
1 and 2 are good things. That feeling is very much like that burn when you're working out, the point of muscle fatigue when you've reached your physical limits. It's useful to challenge those limits sometimes, to get out of your comfort zone.
And so I click publish. And so I send out more writing out into the world. Go deeper, reach farther, be braver, I tell myself. When I focus on 1 and 2, I've got no time to waste on number 3.
Are you uncomfortable enough?