Expose Yourself More

I rely heavily on first impressions.

I’m referring to my own first impressions. For the most part I like everybody as soon as I meet them, until they prove themselves high maintenance, untrustworthy, lacking compassion or just simply a pain in the ass. Religion, politics, social demographics, culture and partner preferences really don’t matter to me. I care about people’s spirit. I care about what is at the heart of a person. And yet, I worry extensively about how people perceive me, especially through my comments on other people’s blogs.

Commenting on other people’s blogs  is like peeing with the door open. It feels embarrassing. I second guess every word, every thought before it hits the page, because once it is out there, I can’t take it back. There is no edit button.

  • What if I misunderstood the message the writer was trying to convey?
  • What if my humor or sarcasm is misinterpreted as snarkiness?
  • What if I misspell something and look like a complete idiot?
  • What if I don’t like what I read? How honest should I really be?
  • What if my words are totally an out-of-body-artistic moment making my blog look like dribble?

I rather like my stealth approach to blog reading, slide in and out unnoticed. I get to be the child hiding at the top of the stairs, trying to figure out what mom and dad are whispering about. Reading behind closed doors is comfortable and unexposed. But I’ve learned two valuable lessons this week.

All Levels of Writers Need Encouragement and Feedback

Many of the blogs I read inspire me to be a better writer, a better mom, a better wife, a better everything. Their words seem to come effortlessly, day after day. They are the moon I want to hook my star to. It never occurred to me that maybe we were more alike than I realized, that maybe we share the same secret fear of not being liked or heard. Comments on my own blog fuel my desire to keep writing, sometimes cause me to look at things differently or reaffirm that my thoughts were right on target. I forgot other writers, writers I think are far more talented than myself, also need to be reminded how much their words impact lives and I didn’t think about how they seek community as much as I do. Selfishly, I just wanted to wrap their words around me, cover my creativity in their inspiration, and never risk being rejected .

Writing From the Heart is What Really Matters

Yes, I expose myself every time I post something on my blog, but somehow it  feels less scary than a comment. I can manipulate the words a million times before hitting “publish”, and I can even wipe the slate completely clean if I change my mind later.  But that comment, misspelled, misinterpreted, misquoted, could last a lifetime. But I forgot that even if the very first time you meet me is through a comment on someone else’s blog, that as long as I always write with integrity, compassion and honesty, I can stand by my words. My heart will show through the mistakes.

Thank you Theta Mom, Four Plus an Angel, Rock and Drool, and Mrs. Weber’s Neighborhood for reminding me to comment more. It was a big stretch for me to introduce myself to each you more intimately this week. Sometimes it is much easier to hide in my blog than be the woman behind the blog. For me, commenting has never been about increasing blog traffic, but something much more personal. However, I forgot that it helps build community, which is why I started blogging in the first place.


15 thoughts on “Expose Yourself More

  1. I LOVE this and I, too, can relate. I used to be a stealthy stalker, until I started getting comments and felt so loved that I immediately wanted to reciprocate. With that said, I only try to comment when I genuinely have something to add to the conversation. Thanks for mentioning me. It was a pleasure to meet you last week; keep up your amazing writing and I’ll be back to comment more for sure 😉

  2. I really like this post and I can relate. I’m not a writer, I know my English is very far from perfect and my grammar is out of whack. But I love to tell stories, and capture any precious moment that can’t be capture with Kodak. Things like what my child to me for example. I always afraid expressing myself though, I kept my blog private for a while because I receive comment about my “English”. Then it hits me, I don’t care (well, I do) my imperfectness shouldn’t stop me from expressing myself and share precious moment. So here I am… writing away, leaving comment. Misspell my words here and there. I read a quote online that I took right away, it is: ‘Everything we experience, whether happy, sad, painful, troubled, exhilarating, inspiring, or anything else, becomes part of what we’re made of. And what we’re made of finds its way into our writing. It must.’ – Victoria Hanley

  3. I can relate to some of the things your saying. Commenting on a blog is sometimes like walking into a room of strangers and joining in a conversation that’s already been started. There’s this niggling fear that what you say just might not be accepted and everyone in the room is just going to look at you and say well that’s dumb or who the heck is she?

    I just try speak honestly and with a positive attitude whenever I make a comment on this or any other blog for that matter. And if for whatever reason I’m not 100% comfortable with my final draft of a comment I won’t publish- there’s no take backs!!

  4. This is exactly how I feel. I too read a lot of blogs silently and very seldom do I leave comments. Thanks for the post and hopefully, I’ll be more courageous in leaving comments in the future.

  5. ok, I get worrying about commenting because you might suck at it. But you’ve definitely backed yourself into a corner when you also can’t comment because you might be good at it. lol
    We all love to get comments. other than the “Hi! link back to me” comment. But the other ones that show you read it and were moved in some way enough to interact with the writer. Those are better than chocolate. Probably.

    1. HAHA! That was what was so funny to me after reading my post and everybody’s comments. I couldn’t see the forest for the trees and really thought my comments were invaluable. I need to get out of my head more.

  6. I write comments because I know how good it feels to connect with someone, and I won’t know I made a connection unless I get feedback, so it’s worth the risk. I don’t know why you worry so much; you’re awesome, and that has nothing to do with the fact that I’m your mother. I’m sure of it. By the way, is that Luna Puppy on your header now? How cute is that!

  7. Wonderful post Emily and I like the new look to the blog! I am about to unveil my new look blog as well, likely tonight or tomorrow morning. I completely agree with your thoughts above as I have to remind myself to comment on posts as well. Also, just a reminder that an open invitation remains for you to come guest post on my blog whenever you want!

    1. Thanks! This is still a work in progress. I’m not sure this template is really what I want…I may be making some much bigger changes at the end of the summer but at least for now I have a LOGO! Yeah!

  8. is it just wrong that this post makes me giggle. Although since I’m not really sure if it is giggling because it is sweet because you care so much or because I can kinda relate, it probably is.. 🙂

    But I’ve come to the realization that if I want comments, I need to make comments..

  9. 🙂 I feel the EXACTLY as you do, really…”Commenting on other people’s blogs is like peeing with the door open. It feels embarrassing. I second guess every word, every thought before it hits the page, because once it is out there, I can’t take it back. There is no edit button.” …Thanks for this post.

    P.S. – And just to officially say it, I think you are an awesomely talented writer and person. I’m ALWAYS inspired by your posts…and awed by your marvelous ability to manipulate words.

  10. Oh great….it was enough I worried about hitting that publish button up, or posting a link. Now you will have me worried about my comments as well.

    Seriously though…I know what comments mean to me. So if a piece of writing touches me, I love leaving my thoughts behind. I do not think I look at them on my blog or anyone else’s with the same eye you describe. But…I like them to have meaning. Whether it is to connect to an emotion, concrit on the writing, or add your own thinking…I love to see comments that have meaning.

    You can tell sometimes they are doing it because they should..in those cases I would rather you didn’t. But as for the word choices, spelling….no, that doesn’t matter. Just let me know what my writing did for you…if nothing, leave nothing. (and it sad when it did nothing for no one. I have to admit)

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