That Takes Some Nerve

Before today, I only ever lost my nerve posting once.  I was over at Blogger, still, and I wrote something and linked to Bitch PhD in that post.  She wrote a post and linked back.

Before that, I had about 35 readers, all folks I knew and could pick up the phone and talk to.  When she linked to me, 300 people came over to take a look.  Three hundred might not be that many, but to me, it might as well have been a million, and I really respect Bitch PhD and her readers, so I, of course, wanted to seem like the kind of blogger who had witty and erudite things to say, someone worthy of them taking the time to read.

I couldn’t come up with anything.  The hardest post I’ve ever written was that next post.  I don’t remember what it was.  I think it was just something light and stupid.  But the point was to post something, just get something out, so as to not become paralyzed with fear.

I sometimes look back on stuff I write and think, “What the fuck, B.?” in a way that causes me to both cringe and laugh.  But I like that feeling, like I’m writing something that is scary and daring and maybe unwise.  It’s like walking a tightrope.  Can I make it to the end?  Are things secure enough?  Do I trust myself enough?

Or will I fall?  And will it hurt?

I blog to stake my claim in the world, to walk the outer edges of my intellectual property and mark my place in the world.  Everything I write is first and foremost about me, about opening myself up in a way that announces my presence and marks my personal space.

Everything you read here is about how I see things, about my opinions, about how I navigate the world and how foolish or wicked or smart I feel.

This has been the second hardest post I’ve ever written.  Today, I lost my nerve big time.  In fact, I’m really only writing this just to push through that fear–that I can’t do this because the possibility of it being misunderstood or turned against me is so great that it outweighs the soul-saving value it has for me.

I don’t have anything more to say about that–just that I did fall and it did hurt, pretty bad, but I’m going to get up and brush myself off and get back on this thing.  And I guess we’ll see how that goes.

25 thoughts on “That Takes Some Nerve

  1. I loved being a blogger read by a couple hundred people I’d never met. Now it’s totally different, and no where near as much fun.

  2. I think I must have missed something.

    It’s so delightful to see someone thinking — I mean, really thinking and stretching ideas and trying things on and actually trying to figure out the big issue and admitting confusion and groping for clarity and sometimes coming up against her own contradictory ideas and then struggling to see which has a better claim on her core values and changing her mind — that whether or not I agree or not (though mostly I do) is beside the point. It’s a process that’s got some integrity to it, even if there is messiness and tensions and dead ends and categorical failures to communicate. So I am glad that you allow me this window on your process and your life. It has given me the courage to think out loud too.

  3. to walk the outer edges of my intellectual property and mark my place in the world.

    Nicely put. Unfortunately, for me it’s a short walk….

  4. The cool thing about losing one’s nerve is that it isn’t like being decapitated. You can reclaim your nerve.

    I’ll remind you, B., that I first came to Tiny Cat Pants by way of the Feral Mom. I don’t remember why; maybe it was something you said in her comments section, or maybe I just thought the name “Tiny Cat Pants” was irresistible. Whatever the case, since then there has rarely been an occasion when I have ended an internet session without checking in on Tiny Cat Pants.

    I visit here so frequently precisely for the reasons you list for blogging. I don’t expect to agree with you every time, and I don’t expect to be profoundly impressed with your every turn of phrase. I do expect– and I am never disappointed– to find you being courageously honest about everything, even when it places you out on a limb.

    In short, Aunt B., you don’t need to try too hard, and you don’t need to fear the consequences of being yourself. Who among us is perfect? Hell, if you hadn’t said anything, I might never have known that you had fallen.

  5. B, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I mean, I understand the feeling completely, but I have no idea what prompted it in this case. But I want to remind you that I came here first because I heard/read somewhere that you were arguing music with Aaron Fox (which is an activity I certainly enjoy on occasion, either as a spectator or as a participant). And later, when I stopped lurking and told you how I’d gotten here, you started apologizing for arguing with him, as if you had no right to. But what I say is, if you can argue with Aaron Fox you can argue and opinionize out there with anyone.

  6. What post was you losing your nerve?

    I feel like I’ve missed something.

    Regardless, your nerve is what engages people and drives your readers. It’s a good thing.

  7. Add me to the list of people who don’t really know what this is about.

    But yeah. We like you and your nerve. And whatever is wrong, it’ll be okay.

  8. B.,
    I must say, I’m lost here.
    I really am.
    I can say that when I’ve been linked by the “big” boys, I have lost my nerve, become too shrill etc, lost my way.
    But on the other hand, when I get a load of comments and I feel a connection, it feels so incredibly good that at times I’ve been moved to literally tears.
    As I have said before, this blogging thing for me sometimes is a double edged sword but I wouldn’t stop it.
    So, I hope you find your way and good luck.

  9. Shit, I was trying to be supportive and talked about me.
    Sorry. We love your nerve, we adore you.
    Take care of yourself and good things will happen. I believe that.
    (Sorry for my self-indulgence.)

  10. No, no. Everything’s fine. Something happened this morning that gave me a start and I felt like the only way to get through it was to write about my fear of writing. The post itself was just about my needing to post something, even if I was the only one who got it.

    It’s okay. I have posted and will post again.

  11. Well… shucks? I am together with everyone else who hasn’t a clue what this is about. But that doesn’t really matter a bit. You’ve totally nailed it, honestly. I once wrote, in a paper journal, something along the lines of “People often try way too hard to reach profundity and just come off pretentious. Much better, then, to start with honesty and let the profound develop on its own, if it will.”

    You may not feel like you’re being brave at all, but I think it takes guts of solid steel just to admit that you’re not always unshaken or unafraid. How’s the quote go? “Bravery, is not acting out of a lack of fear… it is having the ability to act despite one’s fear.”

    So, I say thank you for exhibiting that you have true bravery. And I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I’ve got your back. For whatever that’s worth.

  12. Don’t worry, B., whenever you lose your nerve, just imagine that your audience (those reading you) are all naked.

    Um, we are all naked…aren’t we?

  13. Considering her preoccupation with the broad shoulders and manly man bits of some of her readers, I rather thought she was already imagining us all naked. And attractive.

  14. Since that you put it that way, mal, now I’m imagining us all naked. On some levels I’m arouses, yet others I’m frightened.

  15. *snickers* Just imagine us the way I’m sure Aunt B. imagines us. You know in her mind we’re all gorgeous, fit, naked and bursting with smarts. And trying to feed her grapes, massage her feet, and do tricks for smooches. ;)

  16. but, I don’t want to visualize Mack naked..he’s a great guy and all that, but please..not arouses, or is that aroused.

    Sometimes when I come here, I feel like I’m starting the book at chapter 3. Chapters 1 and 2 have been ripped out by some blogging felon. Anyway, for what it’s worth, some of the bravest, most honest writing I’ve ever come across, blog or otherwise, has been on this blog.

  17. I love your blog. It’s one of my favorites. I selfishly hope you keep on doing exactly what it is you’ve been doing all along, no matter how many readers you acquire or who they are.

    Of course, I say that knowing that one of the harder things I’ve faced lately was joining a conservative company where folks all the way to the top found out about my blog, and blogging anyway. I have really tried not to let it stop me, but I can’t say it hasn’t changed what I feel comfortable posting.

    I don’t know what’s got you unnerved (or almost unnerved) but I hope you can look it right in the eye and say fuck you, I’m blogging anyway. Again, I say that selfishly, but also because I think you must get something pretty great out of the experience or you wouldn’t commit so much time and energy to it. And I’d hate to think of you being deprived of what you get from blogging so openly.

  18. You know B, the way I found you was through a random click somewhere in or something like that. And I clicked on your link pretty much because I thought your title was funny. I was so happy and surprised with who I found.

    I found someone with a profound heart and a sharp mind. Someone who could make me think as hard as she could make me laugh. Someone who could make me sit up tall, pay attention, and put me at ease all at once. And while I read you I knew that you were someone who was genuine and someone who was fallible and people like that, who have true and honest hearts, can get hurt because you do what you believe in. You know that you’re putting yourself out on the line, but you continue to do it regardless.

    Every day I read you I wish I could find the strength to write like you, but instead I remain light and insignificant because I’m too afraid that I don’t have my facts right and someone who really knows what they’re talking about will come by and smack me in the face. All I know is that when I finally grow up, I hope I can be just a little more like you.

  19. I just found you today – I was perusing another blogs list of favorite blogs and saw yours and I love cats and so here I am (btw – I am dissapointed that you dont ADORE your cats more). Ive been reading you all morning long (and yes, I have had to hop and skip along to find all of your ‘new’ locations)and I love your writing style. Its honest and funny and smart. You sort of remind me of Janet Evanovich.

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