exposé’d: the “not wearing pants” dream and writing

I’ve often wondered how all the writers out there do it, day in, day out. How they keep writing or publishing; sharing from the soul despite the profound sense of vulnerability it invokes. Maybe it’s because of the vulnerability, not despite. Is that the thrill of it all, subjecting yourself to readers’ mercy? I would think it depends on your content since some content draws in more sympathetic audiences. In any case, the thought of having other people read my thoughts, by choice, makes me feel so exposed and vulnerable.

So much so that I’d rather be in that nightmare where you show up to work or school without your pants. Or any clothes on at all.

The funny thing is — I’ve always been writing. Keeping journals and diaries, Xanga posts, college application essays, term papers, a master’s thesis, scholarly legal articles… But never publishing or sharing unless I had to. It was bad enough to get back papers or essays that my teachers made bleed with the wrath of their red pens. And then there was this bad experience in 7th grade journalism class, where I heard other students talking about the hypocrisy of my article… (just because you’re a hypocrite doesn’t make you wrong, right?)

Anyway, all of that combined with the general low self-esteem that accompanies adolescence lead me to never really post anything (other than the Xanga no one read). I’m sure there are other deep-seated cultural and external reasons.

This post has been months in the making, with much deliberation on whether I was really prepared to post it after all. But knowing at least some of the why and how behind my apprehensiveness, I’m finally going full steam ahead, beyond my usual step of clicking “save and close” to finally follow it up with a “publish.” The thought of it has me feeling like I’m subjecting myself to a walk of atonement, not just a regular walk of shame. Even though I know it is nothing close to that.

So this begs the question, why now? Nothing’s changed; I’m still going to feel overwhelmingly exposed — even more so now that I’m out of school, responsible for content, products, growth, and a million other things at work, and increasingly sensitive to criticism, though I’m working on that.

In the same token, for those very reasons, it’s now or never — the older I get, the more I find myself getting set in my ways, and the less likely I am to ever do it.

If you’ve ever had similar thoughts, the #timeiswrite to embrace the mysterious and intense feelings that may surface upon introspection.

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