My biggest creative fear is doing something that’s already been done. Take it a step further and another fear is accidental plagiarism. Peel another layer and my fear is that I’m not innovative enough to come up with something new.
I’m not the first to have my thoughts, nor will I be the last. There may even be someone in another space in the world thinking and writing about this exact topic.
But they don’t have my voice.
A few years ago I sat on my kitchen floor and poured my heart into a word document. I wrote about my anxiety and depression. Recently I had discovered many blogs about mental health and I was down a content rabbit hole, but also knew I had something to say. My own story.
In a moment of insane bravery, I submitted my spilled feelings to The Mighty, and to my surprise they published it not too much later. (You can read it here. Disclaimer: many of my thoughts and feelings have changed, but that was how I was feeling at the time. I’ll be writing about mental health more here.)
Flabbergasted, I didn’t know what to do from here. I was petrified to share it on Facebook. What will people think? Who am I to write about this subject? What have I done that’s different than others? It’s silly self-promotion.
Against all those voices, I hit “post.” The response was overwhelmingly positive.
Among the thank yous, me toos, and I had no ideas, one personal message has stuck with me.
Someone who I worked with (who I’m pretty sure we became Facebook friends initially so I could add them to one of our company Facebook pages and we became actual friends later) told me I had put their thoughts and feelings into words in a way no other article has been able to.
That one message made all the work worth it. I’ve had other authors put words to thoughts and feelings so beautifully, and to be in a league of word-givers is a true gift.
This message reminds me to keep writing. Keep sharing my story. You never know who is reading, or listening, and needs your specific voice.
I’m writing this for me as a reminder to hit publish and put my voice out into the world, but maybe you see yourself in this too. Nobody else has your voice, your eye, or your community. Maybe there’s someone out there who needs to read what you write, see what you create, or hear your sound.