I had this whole post all written and sorted in my head this morning while I was in the bathroom. The running water must have been cleansing and refreshing for my creative self as well. Of course now that I have time to sit down and actually write it do you think I can remember how it all went?
Pieces of it are wafting in and out of my senses like a fart in a lettuce strainer… yes, it is a foul state of affairs. I had a killer opening sentence too that I was feeling very smug about and now it’s just absorbed itself back into the alphabet soup that sloshes about in my mind and sometimes spills out to form cohesive sentences. Frustrating much!
I thought I’d be really brave this week and take part in a challenge to “Blog like there is nobody is reading” over with Raychael and the gang at Agent Mystery Case.
In order for me to hit publish on this one and send it live on my blog I’ll have to think of it as a “Blog like nobody is judging what they are reading” challenge, so I’m gunna go with that.
I originally started writing here, just over 12 months now, because I truly believe there is a nugget in every story told. I have found so much strength, validity and clarity in the words of others over many years that I found myself wanting to share my own words hoping they may reach out and touch a bruised part of someone who needed to hear them… maybe add a little more air to their floaties as they struggle to tread their own murky waters.
Trouble is EVERY time I go to hit that scary publish button at the back end of my blog fear and the doubt monster show up and sit on my shoulder nagging away like my very own little heckling peanut gallery from the side stalls.
“Who do you think you are that you may make a difference in someone else’s world by your words?”
“Why would anyone want to read this shite?”
“People are sick of hearing about you banging on about your cancer ride!”
“People are sick of your notifications of another blog post turning up in their feeds!”
“There are so many other bloggers out there doing the same thing so why do you even bother?”
“You aren’t good enough!”
Annoying loud little blighters they are. Now I wish I didn’t give a flying fug about what other people may think of me throwing caution and my words to the wind of the blogosphere, but sadly I do. I try to push through it though… I flick those laughing hecklers off my shoulder, grab hold of that very wobbly finger hovering over the publish button, take a deep breath, steady, and light that baby up. Then I screw up my face hoping no rotten tomatoes come flying back out at me, turn blue from holding my breath and gingerly open one eye to take a peek at what is actually going on.
No rotten tomatoes yet! Just a really silly looking face!
If I was really brave enough to write like nobody was judging what they were reading I would probably be sharing a lot more words like the following passage I wrote a few years ago that I’ve only shared with a good friend. I wasn’t in a good place and I think the words reflect that.
So I’ll sign off now leaving you with images of farts wafting in and out of lettuce strainers, the inside of my mind looking like alphabet soup and me being pelted with virtual rotten tomatoes hurling from my laptop screen… and of course me cringing and squinting as I hit that publish button considering the following passage you are about to read.
Oh, and thanks for reading… without judgement.
“I still feel wrapped in a cloak of emotion that I couldn’t possibly articulate for another to gain insight… a silent, protected and safe barrier lined with stories and words and experiences and journey’s and feelings written in a language only I could ever read. The cloak brings me much comfort for it is my inner beliefs, my inner strengths, my inner core, my bare soul. It is filled with the comforting weight that has been the journey of my life and that warm familiarity gives me solace and courage of invincibility. Ironically that same cloak can bring me such fear and despair for all the same reasons… but the familiarity is as much my saving grace as it is my demise…. my barrier, my armour, my buffer in every duality, in all weather that passes over me.
As I write a shower of rain begins to fall… I feel as if I’m in a different place… I can see myself sitting on a rock bed stretching out into a calm ocean… gentle waves are lapping at the submerged rocks before me lulling me into a peaceful hypnotic state with their continual hushing break … the reflection of the full moon manages to flicker occasionally across the calm waters through the crisp haze of the winter evening… the chill in the air is filling my soul with the scents and tastes that only the dense sea night air can carry… and there I sit, a silhouette against an eerie ocean night sky, wrapped and protected in my cloak of journeys past… exposed to the elements yet protected, distant yet reachable, for that moment in time at peace enveloped in the comfort and despair of familiarity… finding warmth in its joys and embracing the strength and grounding weight woven through from adversity.”
Do you also wish you could write like nobody was judging what they reading?
Ever been told by your olds as a child to “Sit still… you’re like a fart in a lettuce strainer!”
Linking with the Weekend Rewind crew Bron’s blog (Maxabella Loves), Kelly’s (at A Life Less Frantic ) and Sonia (at Life Love and Hiccups)
Raychael aka Mystery Case says
Thanks for taking part in our first challenge, I’m thoroughly intrigued by the passage you’ve shared and want to hear more.
I can honestly say I’ve never heard that phase about the farts and lettuce strainer. I can relate to the doubt monster, the negative self talk before hitting publish.
I also write really good posts in my head in the shower, only for them to evaporate into thin air. I’ve seriously been considering installing a white board in the shower. lol
Oh that doubt monster sure does do the rounds! Thanks so much for stopping by Raychael and your kind words. I’ve enjoyed being part of this thought provoking challenge. Thank you 🙂 Xx
I use a little voice recorder for when I am having thoughts but can’t keep up with the writing or don’t have paper with me. Most phones now a days have a voice recorder built in.
Thanks Jo! I’d feel somewhat self conscious but it’s worth a shot on the old iphone. Thanks for stopping by 🙂 Xx
Jo Tracey says
Fart in a lettuce strainer…man, I love that! I write my best posts when walking of sitting in traffic on the M4 in the daily commute…I’m sure they would have been masterpieces. Also love the gorgeous, mystic paragraphs you shared.
Hee hee, my Dad used to say that to me quite often. I must have been very fidgety.
Thank you so much for stopping by Jo and your kind words 🙂 Xx
I find that the best writing always comes from the bare soul. No filtering, no editing, just you. I read blogs to find real people, not the prettified, polished versions that most show to the world. So, if that means writing like there is nobody reading, then we all should be doing a lot more of it.
Very well said Dorothy! When I think about it I read mostly blogs of people sharing their realness too.
Thank you so much for stopping by 🙂 Xx
I think you write beautifully. I really felt like I was there in that imagery reading that. I seem to convince myself that I’m not passionate about writing otherwise I would make more time for it instead of being ad-hoc. The theory being we make time for the things we love. But I always feel better after doing it.
Thank you for your kind thoughts Ness! I often question if I’m passionate about writing or not. I love writing but I think I’m more passionate about connecting with people and so maybe the writing is my vehicle to connection?
Thanks forstopping by and sharing your thoughts on passion and time. Think I just found a new perspective 🙂 Xx
Keep doing what you’re doing Sandra. It gets better and better every time. I think this ‘write like noone is reading’ thingy is working for you…..in my humble opinion. Let it go x
My dear Shauna thank you for stopping by and sharing your kind encouraging words. It means a lot. Hope to see more writing from you again real soon? 🙂 Xx
Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me says
Oh please don’t let doubts stop you from publishing your words on YOUR site. Man I know for a fact that half of the serious and stylish blogging community think I’m a total muppet and not funny or interesting but does that stop me from plugging away, spilling my often unsavory guts. You never know who might read or need your words Sandra… have a great weekend my friend x
Thanks so much for your honest and thoughtful comments Em! I happen to love your guts! 😉 Xx
Jodi Gibson (JF Gibson Writer) says
I must admit although I do suffer doubt with a lot of what I do, not really when it comes to blogging. I have boundaries on what I will and won’t blog about, but when I do blog, I’m pretty much a let-it-out-kinda-girl.
As for your writing, keep going. You write beautifully. Those first few sentences about the cloak of emotions filled with stories is how I feel about my fiction. It’s all perfectly articulated in my head, but when it comes to getting it down on paper, my golly gosh is it hard!! I think it was Hemmingway that said ‘There’s nothing to writing, all you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.’ Yup!
Oh Jodi, thank you so much for your encouragement! That means sooo much to me. I love your blog and writing voice. And that quote? Man, I just love it. Thanks for stopping by, I really appreciate it. 🙂 Xx
Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid says
Doubt monster be gone, I love your work! And I also love that phrase “farts in a lettuce strainer.” That’s gold that is! This is your place and use your voice to be you-niquely you! Happy weekend xx
Sammie I love that you love my work. You know I think you are incredible. Thanks buddy! 🙂 Xx
Kelly Exeter says
Always ALWAYS write down that killer first line the second it comes to you – we never remember these things!
And we all get that whispering voice of doubt. Every one of us. But you write beautiful Sandra and the internet would be poorer without your words in it x
Kelly, I appreciate you stopping by and leaving such a beautiful comment. I don’t know what to say… your words mean so much to me. Thank you Xx
The doubt monster terrorises me sporadically and I am never sure what lets him out of his cage. I’m glad you ignored him. Write like nobody is judging because it doesn’t matter anyway. The words are in us anyway. x
That doubt monster really gets around doesn’t he! Thanks for the advice Bron and I’ll keep trying to ignore the persistent little creature. Thanks for stopping by 🙂 Xx
I have written about the most personal parts of my little human self and I keep waiting to feel that awful clench of regret in my stomach – but it never comes. The amazing thing about telling your truth is that it opens up a space for others to tell theirs. Trust your blogging community to have your back. You’ll be amazed at the way the things that scare us most to admit are the things that bind us most meaningfully to others.
Be fearless! Keep hitting publish!
Angie, these are really powerful words to my ears. Thank you so much for sharing them here and for the encouragement. 🙂 Xx
Kate @ From Katie to Kate says
Oh Sandra, that passage is wonderful. I have a challenge for you. Write for you. Like you, I had doubts but I also had it in me and had to get it out. And I did. It is daunting! I write for me. Not for hits, for there usually aren’t any. Not for comments, for there usually aren’t any, but to get it out of my head. Then I can sleep at night!
Keep going Sandra. The doubt monster has plenty of others to bother. Your writing does matter.
Thanks for stopping by with your kind and encouraging words Kate. I’ll accept that challenge and give it my best shot. Thanks for sharing. 🙂 Xx
Sandra, that passage is beautiful, so much of your soul bared, right there. And as this is your space, you have the right to feel comfortable to share as much or as little as you wish. I have absolutely no doubt that you’ve helped many with your words.
It’s funny, but we seem to be drawn to what we need to read, at just the right time.
And how many times have we all written the perfect post in our mind, then forgotten it when it’s time to actually write on paper? So frustrating!! xx
That’s such a lovely thing to say Lisa. How freaky is it that we are indeed drawn to read something that ends up really resonating with us? A site we may not have stumbled upon before and there it is waiting for us. Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂 Xx
Natalie @ our parallel connection says
Write what you want.. You will lose some readers but will gain others who love your stuff
Thanks for stopping by with your words of encouragement Natalie. I’ll do just that from now on. 🙂 Xx
Jane @ Almost Jane says
I write so many amazing (honest!) blog posts in my head as I’m trying to drift off to sleep, all of which drift away as soon as I am sitting in front of the computer with a blank page in front of me! I love the paragraph you shared, it’s beautifully written xx
Thank you Jane! Oh, how annoying is it that these things come to us when we are trying to go to sleep!!! Thanks for stopping by Jane 🙂 Xx
Melanie Greenhalgh says
I have never heard that but will be adding it to my toolbox! I so get the doubt monster I am plagued daily and I everytime I feel proud of an achievement I see someone else doing more, doing better and then start the negative dialogue with myself about not being worthy of success! Far out it is hard to be in my head some days. Go gently and when all else fails just write! Mel xx
You could so be talking about my head there Mel. We are so hard wired to give that doubt monster a loud voice aren’t we. Thanks for the advice and for stopping by 🙂 Xx
Janet aka Middle Aged Mama says
The “fart in a lettuce strainer” is a new saying for me! Like you, I come up with all these awesome blog posts in the shower and then when I’m at the computer, get frustrated that I can’t remember that killer opening sentence or what I wanted to say …
That’s one of my Dad’s old sayings, hee hee! Maybe his Dad used to say it to him? The shower seems to be the place many a great story is born never to see the light of day again. Frustrating much! Thanks for stopping by Janet. 🙂 Xx
Kirsty @ My Home Truths says
That is AMAZING imagery and writing in that passage you shared. Keep writing for you and sharing your experiences, feelings and thoughts. Try not to doubt yourself – this is your space and no-one else’s x
Thanks for your encouragement and kind words Kirsty. I guess people will either read or click away and I have no control over that nor would I want to really. The main thing is not to let fear of judgement stop me from writing and potentially connecting with other like minded people. Thanks for stopping by 🙂 Xx
I just love reading your words Sandra, and I adore all your little anecdotes like “farts in a lettuce strainer” and the memories of your dad saying that. Keep writing like nobody’s judging, you don’t know how many people you are helping along the way (how nice is it to think that), it’s a powerful and gentle space you have created… and importantly INSPIRING. XX
“Powerful and gentle space” I do like the sound of that Sarah, thank you. I do believe that’s just how I would like people to feel about this space… that and friendly and safe… despite a few Doubt Monsters and Gremlins lurking around hee hee. Thank you so much for your lovely comment Sarah 🙂 Xx
Farts in a lettuce strainer – lol – new one to me but it makes me giggle! 🙂 That doubt monster visits me all the time Sandra. It nearly defeats me a lot! Loved the passage that you shared 🙂
That Doubt Monster can be very loud and persistent… like an annoying mozzie! I’m glad you don’t let him win. Thank you for stopping by Min 🙂 Xx
Sonia Life Love Hiccups says
I have never heard of the fart in a strainer saying but DAMN I love it!!! I hope you keep writing like no one is judging hun because the truth is… no one but yourself is. We all love you and love your words so let them flow sunshine, as freely as the water in that cleansing shower 😉 xx
Oh you say the nicest things Son. My heart is full and smiling! And my Dad had lots of lines like the fart in the lettuce strainer. I miss him so but these memories make me giggle. Thanks for popping over 🙂 Xx
Zoe | A Quirky Bird says
Oh Sandra, love it “farts in a lettuce strainer.” That doubt monster is a killer. Hoping you send it packing. Mine is almost packed, if it doesn’t hurry up there is a eviction notice coming it’s way soon. Zoe xx
Ha ha, I hope you don’t have to serve that eviction notice Zoe. Sounds like you have him on the rails. Thanks for stopping by 🙂 Xx