One thing I love about the blog writing process, and the whole community of world-wide blogging, is that it helps writers develop backbone. Once you share a few posts, and experience the joy of interaction, you learn that it is okay, applauded even, if you are willing to construct and share your opinion, no matter how controversial it may be. Though it is pretty scary to put your ideas up for the scrutiny of an unknown audience, once you see how your thoughts can create a stir, there is a great reward! I suppose it is akin to the ‘butterfly effect’, where a small action or even just a word can create significant ripples in our global village.
The writing process also helps us get over that great concern we humans share for ‘what other people will think’. I see this fear at work in many places in life, in church, in music, in families, and in school. In fact, this fear of condemnation in others’ thinking is a huge burden for teenagers in the education process. I have seen so many students hold back their ideas, their creativity and enthusiasm for the fear of being judged.
“If we’re constantly dependent on the approval of other people we’ll always be afraid of failure. If we’re constantly needing the affirmation and praise of those around us then we’ll never take any creative risks. We’ll never have the guts to stick our necks out and possibly look silly. Because other people might disapprove of us. They might think that our painting or speech or novel or spreadsheet or organizational blog or hand sewn shirt is pretty lame. And that would sting. We would feel bad about ourselves, which would then lead to us eating a complete bag of Oreos in one sitting.”
from Stephen Altrogge: How to overcome the fear of doing creative work
This is largely why I’m encouraging my English students to start up their own blog this year . . . and simply get writing! Some students are really getting into the swing of things, writing several posts a week – and for others, they are a little slower on the uptake. One thing is for sure, if they catch the blogging bug they will quickly develop into very skilled proof-readers, and ultimately very fearless writers. The world certainly needs more writers like this. Write on!