Less excuses, more writing

I’ve hesitated to write my first blog post for months now, collecting several excuses along the way and promising to myself (and others) to start soon. Soon is apparently a loosely defined concept for me, but I got the final push this week to take the first step.

Writer and teacher Erin Gruwell spoke on campus this week to our students, sharing her experiences as the teacher and mentor responsible for The Freedom Writers Diary. She told the students and teachers in the audience, “It’s scary to put (writing) out into the world- people can interpret it, good, bad, or otherwise.” She nailed me and my hesitation.

I majored in English, Journalism, and Applied writing as an undergraduate and wrote thousands of pages during my four years at Ashland University. I hesitated then too. The irony, of course, is that I love writing.

After the event I asked students from our Leadership Living Learning Community if they were planning to reflect on her talk in their Freshman Seminar blogs. I felt a twinge of guilt as I asked them to do something I hadn’t been modeling. Though I had helped them set up the themes and widgets for their blogs, reflected on the content of their first posts with them, and encouraged them to write– my support had stopped there.

Erin promised the audience, “Good things come when you go to that place and be vulnerable.” If I can ask first year college students to be vulnerable and to share their discovery process, surely I can make that commitment to myself too.

Am I alone on this? Did you give yourself a pep talk before your first post, or jump right in? I’d love to read other first posts, share your link if you’re willing to be vulnerable too.

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