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Write like You Don’t Care What People Think

Spoiler alert. No one cares as much you think.

Free spirited woman riding a bike in a forest ©nenetus

Today I got an email from Medium telling me I’m a top writer in Inspiration and Creativity.

I fell off my chair when I read this.

To be honest, I didn’t think a “small fry” such as myself could qualify as a top writer. I don’t have any fancy awards or accolades attached to my name. I certainly don’t have tens of thousands of followers.

I’m blown away by how fast this milestone happened. It goes to show, you can work up from the grass roots if you put your mind to it.

I joined Medium 6 months ago for a very specific reason.

I wanted to write someplace where no one knew me.

Let me provide some context.

I have an audience of over 4,000 business contacts on LinkedIn. On Facebook I have over 1,000 contacts, including family and friends.

Now, I know the content marketers will be thinking, “Omg — cross-market the hell out of those audiences, Lucy!”

In theory, yes, I understand this. In reality — No. Can. Do.

In truth, I struggle with a crippling form of self-censorship.

Blogging for audiences that include people I know (professionally or personally) is beyond daunting. Worse, it blocks my writing.

The laughable irony is I write for a living.

I work in corporate affairs. I have mastered the art of spin and cultivated the “voice” of global corporations. Along the way, my own voice got buried and forgotten.

I have achieved many milestones in my life. Yet, until recently, writing under my own name in my own voice has eluded me.

I wanted to overcome my fear of personal writing.

I started out publishing on LinkedIn in January. It was nerve racking. My entire professional network is there. I was the only person at my company, apart from the CEO, publishing regular content.

“Who does she think she is?” is what my paranoid imagination told me everyone was thinking.

It got to the point where I self-censored everything I wrote. My articles were academic and bland.

I was boring and PC beyond belief. Yet, I soldiered on.

People I confided in about this “problem” suggested I write under an alias.

Sigh…

I didn’t want to go down that route. My writing should be authentically me. I was (and still am) convinced on this point.

On some level I knew I was being ridiculous. But the fact remained — I was unable to write in my own voice.

No one cares as much as you think ©raywoo

How to cultivate an audience beyond my existing network?

I tried journaling. It didn’t work. I knew I had to publish online to get feedback and gain confidence in my writing voice.

The problem was where?

Something had to give.

I abandoned publishing on LinkedIn for a while.

I felt like a failure…

Everything happens for a reason

One day as I browsed the Internet I clicked a random article. It led me to discover a mysterious and wonderful platform called Medium.

The rest, as they say, is history!

From April, I began a process of self-actualization in the form of blogging.

Every step of the way, the Medium community has been supportive.

Thank you to everyone who reads and comments on my stories. You are the best part of the Medium experience for me!

Keep dancing with fear until you fear no more.

Kudos to everyone who is brave enough to hit publish.

I am learning from you all.

My plan is to keep writing until I fear no more (so forever basically).

There is plenty of mileage left in the tank, after all :)

Till next time,

Lucy 4.0