Somehow last night I crossed 1,000 followers and for someone who had like 200 followers my first 10 years on Twitter that’s just insane.
I started posting more actively a couple of months back after leaving Facebook, with a vague sense that I might find an audience here. I never imagined I would meet so many new friends/make so many new connections here, just by opening this door in my heart and “putting myself out there”.
While I left journalism a long time ago, I never stopped writing. Mostly, I saved it on my computer and did nothing. I was in a job which discouraged “putting myself out there”, and for a long time it made me feel that what I had to say wasn’t worth listening to
Sometime last year my long-time (and long suffering) friend Damyanti yelled: “Stop being so self-conscious and just get your work out! Even if it sucks!”
It made me realise that what was perhaps hindering my growth as a writer was…myself.
It was really strange, but slowly, surely, organically, my work started finding its own audience.
It was like climbing the rock wall this morning, my first climb in 18 years, and my first time on an automatic belay system.
“Just let go!” I could hear my friend yell below.
“No I can’t!”
I clung onto the tiny grip, fear shutting down my brain. If I let go I would die a horrible death, feel my bones crushed into pieces.
“It’s safe!” Someone else yelled.
“No it’s not!” I screamed back.
I was sweating, terrified, and all alone, harnessed to a rope that felt disturbingly slack. Every single cell in my body was telling me not to trust the rope.
But I could no longer hold on. Closing my eyes, I let go.
In that instant, I was free falling.
This is it. It’s over.
And then the belay system kicked in and the rope pulled taut. I was safe.
Which is all a really long-winded way of saying, I stressed so much about writing and publishing when really, all I needed to do was let go.
You know what? After that first climb, my body started to remember how much I used to love climbing. The sheer adrenaline of scaling the wall banished my fear of falling. I climbed another wall, and then another.
And now I can’t wait to go back again