15 Habits of Great Writers: Day 13 – Publish; Or, In Other Words, Don’t Be a Chicken

July 8, 2012 stephhwilliams 1 Comments

Yep, that would be me.

Being a farmer, I know a thing or two about chickens and so I get why it’s often a euphemism for being scared. Chickens like routine; they like safety. While my chickens love to roam freely during the day, at dusk they rush back to their nests and snuggle in together waiting for me to shut them up tightly for the night.

Day 13’s habit in Jeff Goins’ Great Writers Series is to publish. To actually get in the game and share something you’ve written in a more formal way. To do more than simply write another blog post.  To stop being scared of the world, step outside your comfort zone, get out of your nest.

At first, I was thinking, “I’m not ready to publish” (because my WIP is nowhere near that point, yet). Then, frustrated that I haven’t been all that successful lately on the WIP or the habits, I thought, “Wait, I’ve published … a lot!”

Now, yes, I published a couple of professional, law-related articles back when I was practicing, but that’s not what I was thinking about. I was thinking about all the creative work I’ve done … see I’ve published several stories (fanfics) and regularly contribute to another blog in addition to this one – under. a. pseudonym.

Yeah, I said I was a chicken.

Recently, I posted about how much I love fanfiction. And how I often write, what I affectionately call “silly little stories,” that may not have any real point other than getting a couple of beloved characters together. It’s purely a guilty pleasure. But, because it’s not what I normally write, and because there’s a little voice in my head telling me to grow up already, I post under a pen name. And I don’t share it freely. I’ve chosen to share my silly little stories while still hiding in the dark. So I don’t feel as silly as the stories; so I don’t get embarrassed by the words I’ve written.

I also regularly contribute to another, specifically-purposed blog. In fact, it’s the brainchild of myself and a friend. We had this great idea when we started it that we’d use pseudonyms, so we wouldn’t hold back or be afraid of offending people we know. Now, the idea of admitting that I’m one of the bloggers is me seems like coming out or something … or, at least, what I think coming out would be like for someone. At the same time, though, I think it’s probably some of my best work … and no one even knows it’s me.  Well, that’s just great.

So, what am I going to do about it? Freely give out my fanfic pen name? Heck no. Admit that the other blogger is me? Maybe some day, but not today. Sit here and complain about how the thing I want to share with the world – the thing I wouldn’t be embarrassed by and don’t think is silly – isn’t ready yet. Feel like I’m just wandering around aimlessly, like a chicken with my head cut off, with nothing to show for my time and effort. Well, yeah, I guess so.

But I told you I was a chicken, so it’s not like I didn’t warn you.

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