Friday, March 11, 2011

Stage Fright

In my earlier years, I used to speak in public fairly often. I was confident, almost brash. I felt I had important things to say and didn't worry too much about what the audience thought of me. I very seldom experienced pure STAGE FRIGHT.

However, over the years my confidence has waned. But I still have things I want to communicate. I still have a voice, opinions, feelings. I am constantly writing stories, poetry and essays in my head and I have two blogs in which to articulate.  Nevertheless, I am struck powerless due to Internet STAGE FRIGHT. 

I'm unable to put words to page. I tremble as I open my blog.  As my words go out onto the Internet, I am panicked by what unknown people might think of me. Me, a sixty-one-year-old, inconsequential woman. Who could possibly care what I think? And what does it matter anyway?

Guilt-ridden, feeling I must take part in the world of cyper-space, I re-design my blog spot (again), but fear writing the things in my head and my heart.

As my speech teacher once said, "Imagine the worst thing that could happen to you". 

I had a long list of "worst" scenarios which might occur during public speaking. 
  • I could stand there forever frozen without uttering a word.
  • I could stammer and stutter like Bertie (King Georg VI). 
  • I might forget to button my blouse.
  • The audience might boo and hiss. 
  • I might breakout in a rash or a cold sweat. 
  • My carefully coiffed hair might suddenly collapse.
  • I might get the hick-ups. . . .or worst of all
  • I might throw-up on the podium.
The list goes on and on. None of these things ever happened when I spoke in public (other than sweating). And while my audiences were probably critical privately, I was never publicly lynched.  No one heckled.  There were no rotten tomatoes thrown at me.

Yet I am terrified of blogging, more than I could ever be of speaking. There I said it.

So what is the worse thing that could possibly happen to me if I post my thoughts on a blog?
  • I might make spellings or typing errors.
  • I might make grammatical errors.
  • I might offend someone I don't know and will never see.
  • No one will read it. No one will comment.

Yet all I have to fear is fear itself. (I think someone famous said that.)

I realize my faults and follies. I am not the sharpest stick in the woods. But I am sometimes astute and even at my advanced age can make valid observations about my world.

The Internet does not NEED me. However, I need it. I need to read, write and record. I've never kept a diary. My loss.  As my memory gets foggy, it would be nice to have records of past deeds.  My hundreds (thousands?) of photographs are not dated or annotated. My loss again.

I will strive to do better. To write a better blog. To log my history. To conquer the blog-o-sphere!


Wanda..... said...

I'll never judge or be offended, Sherri. I know what it's like ...I make spelling and typing errors all the time. Sometimes I feel I blog about the same old thing, but I just blog to keep a diary of sorts like you mentioned, it's mostly for myself. I can look back on it someday, when I'm REALLY OLD, which isn't that far away! :)

Travelin'Oma said...

What happens if a person doesn't blog? Nothing.

Remember George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life? He didn't know the impact he'd had until an angel pointed it out. We might have to wait for an angel to answer the question "Was anyone influenced for good by my blog?" But if someone doesn't blog, the answer is already "No."

Your blog has already been an influence for good whether you know it or not. Keep at it!

Arkansas Patti said...

Every fear you have I commit daily. I cringe at my grammatical errors that I seem to only catch days later. In the beginning, no one stopped by--zero comments-- and yes sadly I have offended,quite unintentionally.
The plusses are so many that the negatives you list shouldn't keep you from it. Go forth and put yourself out there. Your next of kin will love you for it. The rewards are marvelous and the fears will just go away when you realize, nothing bad will happen.
Now put me on a platform as a speaker and I almost lose consciousness so I do understand. I think you are awesome to be able to do that. This is much easier.
By the way, excellent post.

Sheri said...

Thanks Wanda, Oma (I wish you were my Oma), and Patti for the encouragement.

I am going to grit my teeth and try to be a better blogger!