I’ve Been Hiding in Plain Sight
When I found Medium a short while ago it was thrilling. A place to concentrate on writing. A chance to read interesting stories and posts from other writers. A place of inspiration and belonging.
I must admit I am not that savvy when it comes to the technology and formatting. So my first few attempts were kludge. They didn’t turn out how I thought they would. So this became a bit intimidating. I started reading more than I was writing.
Reading is a good thing! It is stimulating and motivational. I began to read posts that inspired me. Some felt like they were something I could have written myself. As if the author had somehow intercepted my thoughts and decoded and written them on the page.
Reading other writers published pieces inspired me to comment. Sometimes with a simple ‘thank you’ others with a bit more thought. By responding to others, I began to see how the system works. Well, at least a bit.
And.., I started writing. The difference? I was not not hitting the ‘publish’ button. Who knows, maybe I thought I was practicing!
Through these unpublished posts I came to realize something. I am hiding. I am sure some of this is embarrassment or fear of not being good enough. I am aware that I could use better grammar and spelling! I have been writing a weekly blog for 7 years! It is a stream-of-consciousness-dump that the readers of my newsletter have come to expect!
But publishing on Medium — into an unknown void felt completely different. Much more exposed. Much more vulnerable.
You see when I began writing, it was a weekly newsletter for my new business. I opened Storm Wisdom 7 years ago. Our focus is assisting people to live more intentional lives. We do this in several ways, one of which is that we are an event space. We host 5 or 6 events per week. Workshops, seminars, sound healing, meditation/guided visualization, and more.
These events meant that I needed to let people know what was going on. What we offered. But the idea is sending out just a list of events didn’t sit well with me. As if it were just a way to sell seats. Selling seats is important, but so is building community. I decided I needed to engage with the people who signed up on our e-mail list.
Yet the thought of doing research and writing articles was overwhelming. In fact everything at the time was overwhelming! I was still figuring out how to set up and run this new business! I was working 12–14 hours per/day. I didn’t have time to be creative with writing. So instead, I started writing about my own ups and downs. I wrote about my emotional state; cool experiences; painful lessons and mini successes. Basically, the ups and downs that all small business owners experience.
My weekly blog became the most cathartic and restorative part of my week. A chance to reflect on everything that was happening and how it was shifting and growing me. And trust me, starting a small business is a great way to accelerate your spiritual journey! My weekly writing became my gift to myself. The people who were reading it began to respond. I began to realize I was in good company every week. Even during the times when I thought no one would know or relate to what I was going through. I received amazing support and feedback.
I also wrote an iPhone/iPad app called ‘The Magic of Crystals’. It is a cool reference app to help folks understand the natural properties of Crystals. It even has a tool to assist in selecting them. The app and the newsletter were both written in support of and for my business.
This is why today I say I have been hiding.
You see, when I set up my profile on Medium I set it up under the name of my business (I changed it today!). I have used my business to justify ‘why’ I write. If I am not doing it on behalf of my business or someone else’s; who am I to write?
Why would someone care about what I have to say, if I don’t have have context or justification for it?
Today it dawned on me. I write for me. Someone else reading it is icing on an already delicious cake. I am separate from my business and my business is separate from me. They will always overlap because it is part of me. But Storm Wisdom does not write. Charles McAlpine is the writer. No more hiding.