Okay. Deep breath. Brace. I can do this.
This is not difficult.
I can write. I know I can write. I am an author – a published author of an academic tome no less. That would be my book staring back at me from up there on the bookshelf? Unsettling Research. Yep. That’s its. There’s my name on the spine. My friend’s artwork on the cover. My mugshot on the back. Tangible evidence, surely, that I can write. So, why do I feel like I am free falling? Jumping off a cliff? Leaping into a cavernous hole? Why is writing a blog – Correction! Contributing one puny entry to a group blog – so difficult? Why do I keep putting this off?
Naomi tells me it is easy. Naomi makes it look easy. Naomi says, “Just write what you are thinking. Write about your fears. Jump in. Have a go. Blogging is simple. It’s academic writing that’s hard.” Well Naomi, I’m here to say otherwise. Blogging – at least for the middle-aged, uninitiated and academically inclined and entwined – is not easy. It is not simple. In fact, it is downright daunting. It is high wire writing without the safety net. Risk without reward. Disruption without defense. Authorship for and of the unknown. At least with scholarly writing I can hide behind data. Hitch my coat-tails to the big ideas of somebody else whilst brandishing my PhD moniker as irrefutable evidence of a right to say something that must be important. I can bunker down in that ivory tower with cerebral checkpoints barring entry to all but the most erudite and elite. Here, Rapunzel-like, I can groom my words into writing so contrived and complex – so magical – that mere mortals will struggle to make sense of my ‘profoundity’. I can be drafted and redrafted, peer reviewed, blind peer reviewed, critiqued, edited, copyedited, proofed, reproofed – and then published thank you very much. But, no. Not in blogland! Not in this place! This is where I must expose my writing ‘in the raw’. Unshielded, undrafted, unprotected and unsure. This is where I get to sink or swim – and I think I might just be drowning.
Lifeboats anyone? Someone? Hullo. Is anybody even out there?
For details about Sherilyn’s ‘academic tome’ go here.