I’ve been holding myself back from a lot. I have become immobilized by fear of failure and fear’s first cousin, doubt. It’s something I’ve struggled with for as long as I can remember, as I’m sure it is the case with many other people; perhaps even most. To clarify, fear and doubt have not paralyzed me evenly across the board. I’ve overcome my self-doubt in some areas and have made a tentative truce with fear in other areas. But when it comes to writing, I have held myself back for a long time because I’ve been afraid. I have been too timid to share my writing, too intimidated of criticism, too afraid of failure to try.

That changes today. Because I love writing. I love reading, and I will not let fear dictate my narrative. Because what I fear even more than failure is abstention. The fear of never producing is much larger than the fear of failure, but it has taken me a long time to realize this. I’ve tried to sweep it under the rug and not think about it. I’ve dodged inquires about my writing and have made abstract excuses for the absence of my words. I have been reading stuff online. I’ve been reading Those People Magazine, and I have Tumblr, and now I’m on Medium and I’ve been encouraged by what I’ve read. It has really made a difference in my life. I don’t feel like I have to keep my thoughts to myself anymore.

This is only the beginning of what there is to come.