As a writer, I spend my time making stuff up, writing it down and sending it off. I don’t spend very long looking inward, but rather looking outward, examining what I see and not who I am or, even, who I want to be.
I have had, what I would describe, as a wobbly week.
The reason for this is the attention I have been paying to my public profile, the image I portray to the world. Not the image of me writing in my pyjamas, a piece of lego stuck to the sole of my foot and a tea stain on my t-shirt, as is so often the case. In this age of social media and instant connectivity it has become more important than ever to get out there and, well, connect. Readers, bloggers, fellow authors, publishers, agents, editors: there all online and I need to be too.
Viewing myself from the outside and analyse the image I portray, the person I am going to be seen as being is a little odd. A little scary.
I have come to a stage in my life where I am relatively happy in my own skin. I know where I want to go, what I want to do, who I want to do it with. I am, essentially, pretty happy in myself.
But… am I happy with how others may view me?
So much of my history has been spent practising the necessary skills of not caring what people think of me. I’ve mastered this pretty well. I’m happy with my style, in all senses of the word. So, when I eventually confronted the idea that other people are going to form their own ideas of who I am, I suddenly got wobbly.
It made me question everything I have spent so long practising not caring about. What a pickle. It made me look like this:
I may not care what people think.
But I do have to be aware of it.
And it’s this awareness that gives me the wobbles.
It’s a funny business, creating a social profile, a space where anyone from the world can see you, judge you, comment as only they see fit.
The best way to solve this problem, this slight knee-weakening anxiety, is to go ahead, bite the bullet and do it. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram I’m coming for you.
So, here I am, right now, as I write this. Headphones in, feet tapping to Maroon 5 as I work, doing the thing I love doing most.
A reminder to myself that I am who I am. No need to change, just to, perhaps, brace myself and not waver.