You have a story you’re afraid to write.
You know the one I’m talking about. The big one. The dangerous one. The one you’ve been putting off. The one you just don’t have time for.
I’m Afraid, Too
When I launched The Write Practice a year and a half ago, the truth is I was afraid. I didn’t know if anyone would read it (and in the beginning, no one did). Honestly, most of those first few months, I wanted to hide. I thought everyone was going to think I was a complete fraud.
But The Write Practice is the second best thing I’ve ever done in my life (marrying my wife is the first). It could have failed, and it still would have been worthwhile. I spent most of my life hiding, running away from fear, trying to stay comfortable. It was a pretty boring life. The Write Practice showed me I could make something special. I just had to work through the fear.
For the last year, I’ve been putting something off. I’ve been afraid. I thought everyone was going to think I was a complete fraud, and it stopped me from doing what I knew I needed to.
However, in two-and-a-half months my wife will give birth to our first child. I don’t want to teach my son to give into fear. It’s time for me to stop putting things off.
The Truth About Your Story
You will never be ready to write your story.
You will never have enough time.
The fear won’t go away.
It’s time to stop making excuses for yourself. It’s time to come out of hiding.
Your story was meant to be shared. What are you waiting for? (You might want to tweet that).
It’s Okay If No One Is Listening
Stories were meant to be shared, but that doesn’t mean anyone has to listen to you.
Your job is not to force people to listen. Your job is to share your story in a way that creates a connection with those who are listening.
If people show up, if people enjoy your work, be grateful. It’s an honor to have their attention.
But if nobody shows up, if nobody likes your story, be grateful then, too. It’s an honor to have a story to tell. Go share another.
This thing we do, this writing, it’s a gift. You’re not entitled to a gift. The correct response is always “thank you.”
I alluded to this earlier, but in late February or early March, I will be launching a new course to help writers share their stories. This is what I’ve been putting off for a year.
My fear is that you’ll think I’m a fraud, that I have no right to lead you, that I should be ashamed of myself for trying. In response, it would be easy to quote my credentials at you, but that would just be another way of hiding. So instead, I’ll just ask.
If you want to join me, to face your fears and learn to create better stories to share with the world, I’d love to have you. To get added to the list and find out when we open the course, you can sign up here.
What are you afraid of? What is stopping you from sharing your story?
Today, take a step, not matter how small, out of your hiding spot. Begin working on that story, the dangerous one.
Write for fifteen minutes, nothing extreme. This is a practice in vulnerability and courage. Hopefully, it will bring you one step out of hiding and into the light.
I believe in you.
NOTE: This post was inspired by Seth Godin’s new book The Icarus Project. Please, get this book. It will change your life.