The Fear I’ll be exposed for who I really am

At least once a week I have this overwhelming feeling of mortification and I seriously consider deleting my entire internet presence and going off the grid. It’s a mixture of embarrassment and horror that I would write and then share my work. I’ve been in the blogging game since ’03 (began with Myspace) so you’d think I’d be over this fear. I don’t know if the fear will ever fade.

I’m afraid I’ll be exposed as a fake and a fraud. That someone will call me out for what I really am, just a person thinking they know something about something when they don’t.

The fear is always present and is probably what holds me back with a lot of engagement not just online, but in person as well.

I have to remind myself who and what I am to get past this fear for the moment. I go through that list of identities (husband, son, writer, friend, brother, etc.) and remind myself most of all who I am in Christ.

This is just a reminder to remember who you are, how special and needed you are. Your story, your voice, your friendship, so very much needed.

40 thoughts on “The Fear I’ll be exposed for who I really am

  1. HI Ross, I relate very much to this one at times. I can sum it up best with this poem I wrote about five years ago in my first year of recovery from many years of addiction

    Many Faces

    Midnight draws closer

    I am alone again

    Is this really my destiny

    For love and partnership I yen

    I lose myself in fantasy

    My lonely internal war

    To painful to bear

    Why do I feel so raw?

    Why do I give my heart

    In all the wrong places?

    I don’t know who I am

    I have so many faces

    Trying hard to create

    A safe place to sit

    Building up this persona

    Trying to know where I fit

    All the while feeling

    So inherently wrong

    Judging and questioning

    For acceptance of self I long

    I fear all the walls

    Will come tumbling down

    And everyone will leave me

    In despair I will drown

    Alone and frightened

    Despised and scorned

    Vulnerable and wounded

    Already I have mourned

  2. “I’m afraid I’ll be exposed as a fake and a fraud. That someone will call me out for what I really am, just a person thinking they know something about something when they don’t.”

    You just half summed up my life. My version is –
    “I’m afraid I’ll be exposed as a fake and a fraud. That someone will call me out for what I really am, a person who sees things how they really are.”

  3. You always offer a fresh voice. Thanks for sharing. I often wonder why anyone would bother to read my blog, and I haven’t been doing it nearly as long as you. I’ve not really worried that Iwould be exposed for a fake or fraud becasue I”m pretty much a wysiwyg; my concerns are that I would be measured and found lacking. I guess at the root we all have the same fears.

  4. Common fear but in Christ fear does not rule. Keep on…it is your voice and we aim only to please the Lord. He is the final judge and our faith in him assures us of acceptance.

  5. I think it’s part of the writing process or is, at least, for me. It’s the fear that “no-one” will like your work—or people you don’t know at any rate. It’s the speck of doubt that you’re not fully reflecting yourself or someone else. It’s the moment when we wonder why we write and why other people seem to do it so effortlessly—and that’s when you need Thomas Mann telling you that “A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people”. But it’s also what keeps up writing and makes up try harder every time.

  6. Thanks for the reminder. Being real is a challenge for me and is one of the main reasons I started my blog.

  7. Thank you for that reminder. There is a constant tug-of -war inside me regarding this, and remembering that we need each others’ stories as well as who I am in Christ is the only thing that keeps me sane sometimes.

  8. This is actually more common than you think. Believe it or not, you’re brave for even acknowledging it. Reminding yourself of what you know and how you got to where you are is a great way of providing self assurance. On the other hand you could always tell yourself that the internet is a good way to stay behind the scenes and not actually give an identity at all lol. A post of courage 🙂

  9. I go through this once or twice a week myself (depending on how many rejections I’ve received). But this is a necessary fear for a writer, otherwise we become the kind of writers other people want us to be, rather than the writers we are.

    • This is an interesting point. I subscribe to an editor’s FB page, and yesterday, there was a big discussion on whether writers should write to “pander” to a particular group of people that would buy their books. He said, “The challenge is to find material that is quality and potentially commercial,” and that “no, you just can’t sit down and write for the (constantly shifting) market.” There was a bunch of other good nuggets that I’ll type out if you’re interested.

        • Okay, I think the best way to do this is to type out each of his points in the discussion. They are just that good. I’ll do each as a separate reply so it doesn’t get too long. And to give the appropriate credits. His name is Lou Anders, and he’s the editorial director of Pyr Books which is the Sci-Fi/Fantasy imprint of Prometheus Books. I feel very fortunate that he lives in the same town I do and that he is involved with the local writing community. If you have any questions, ask, and I’ll try and clarify.

          • Lou Anders said, “I’ve passed on interesting material that had very limited appeal. Publishing isn’t (and shouldn’t be) charity. But I’ve never put out something that was crap but serviced a market. The challenge is to find material that is both quality and potentially commercial.”

            • Lou Anders said, “Also, no you can’t just sit down and write for the (constantly shifting) market. But if you are trying to write space opera and all you read is Proust, you shouldn’t be surprised if your material doesn’t connect. Find those works that are published, that are commercially successful, that you respect and enjoy. Feed your imagination a diet of books that worked. Then, over time, your tastes will align with your goals.”

            • Lou Anders said, “It isn’t like that. Manuscripts that get you excited excite you. Manuscripts that don’t, probably won’t excite others. And if something is not for you, but is for someone else, that’s fine too. I don’t ever want to stand up in front of an audience and tell them that a book is great if I don’t believe it myself. Why would you *want* to sell me your book if I didn’t like it? Find an editor that loves it; don’t argue with the editor that doesn’t. And if no one loves it, and your goal is widespread readership, then ask why no one loves it. You don’t get to be a master thief by walking through a succession of open doors. You get to be a master thief by learning to pick a succession of locks.”

      • Thanks Alisa,
        Sounds like an interesting discussion. I wouldn’t want you to go to the trouble of typing it up, but if there’s a few points that can be copied and pasted, I, and I’m sure others here would love to see them.

  10. Great reminder! I am always scared of being discovered as a fraud, or laughed right off of facebook when my friends realize that I am calling myself a writer. But then I think of all the other writers/bloggers/wanna be artists out there struggling with this same identity issue and I just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. 🙂

  11. Okay, that was it. Quote 3 should be before quote 2. This guy is fantastic. Yes, I guess you could say I fangirl him. 🙂 A writer on the NaNoWriMo forum of my old town used that term yesterday, and I’ve adopted it. Hope that helps you out.

  12. Thank you so much, for the reminder. For me, it’s making comments that brings up the fear of fraud (yes, like right now). But fear should not be a deterrent to self realization, yes? Fear of Self should not stop us from truly being so. Thank you so much, for the reminder.

  13. John 2:24 But Jesus would not entrust Himself to them, for He knew all people. 25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for He knew what was in each person.

    I know that God sees the truth in all of us and that is why He came to change us. It saddens me to see people search for love, truth, security and all those things we should get from God but they look to humans which no human can give. Everyone will have fears as long as we depend upon other humans. His word says there is no one that is good.

    I say if you have a chance to write and tell others something to help their journey in this life, tell them it is alright to relax. Because God knows and sees everything and still loves them and will help anyone change if they ask Him.

Leave a Reply to Alisa Russell Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s