Thank you for this thought provoking and insightful post. I’m not a writer by profession but am compelled to share life-experiences through writing. I wrote a post titled ‘Index Day’ on Medium which chronicled my struggle with clinical depression, and how I was able to overcome it. In doing so I made myself extremely vulnerable in a public space. It started off as bullet points in a note book and as time passed grew into a narrative. Why did I write it? Sub-conciously there was a voice that kept egging me on, nudging me and it was if a restless gremlin was moving within me, sniffing and clawing endlessly to fashion a comfortable nook to settle down and sleep. It would not sleep till I wrote and illustrated the post, and laid myself completely bare with every drop of my experience squeezed and wrung out of me to splatter the screen with droplets of words. Once posted, a huge obligation was fulfilled and a committment was met.
One part of me childed and reprimanded me for doing it. I had exposed myself , my career, my reputation, people close to me who loved me to unknown hazard and risk. The other part told me that I had made the right choice, this sharing might help someone undergoing the same struggles and maybe make it easier to overcome. The other part also told me ‘the time is NOW’. If I did not post something would be lost and an oppotunity missed. Letting the rice trickle through your hands back into the bag. The fear of waking the gremlin also helped.
The other part was right, from the reactions to the post. Could I do this on a stage facing a hall full of people telling them about my experience? No. In that sense I was a coward, hiding behind what I posted. Did I want to wake the gremlin? No.
Did I feel brave, working away at the keyboard? Not really. The real compulsion was ‘if not now, when?’. It was the fear of something that would pass you by, and if you did not shift your burden on it the moment would be lost forever. Not wanting to wipe hands on the seat of your pants.
Its the same compulsion that drives this response. Is this the cowardice, the fear of the moment, and opportunity, being lost forever?
I’m grateful for your post and the admire grit it must have taken to craft, share and inspire.