I am quaking in my boots. I promised that in the run-up to the release of my new book, E-Squared, I’d blog every day. My publisher, Hay House, sent me a book called Platform by Michael Hyatt. In order to build momentum for a book through social media, a marketing bonanza of which even the smallest of authors can take advantage, he recommends daily blogging.
That’s thrilling and terrifying at the same time. It’s thrilling because, my gosh, I’ve wanted to be disciplined enough to write daily for as long as I’ve been able to hold a pencil. It’s the linchpin that holds a writer together—consistency, daily attendance to the muses, and well, the simple act of applying the old rear end to the chair. I’ve used it countless times when writing the 16 books that have my name on them. But, when I’m not on assignment or not being expected by some editor to deliver the goods, I don’t always write. I turn off the pipeline to my muses. Somehow I expect them to beat me over the head with whatever it is they want me to say. Even though I know the only way to truly call yourself a writer is to write.
It’s hard to admit this. One of my books is, in fact, about the importance of doing just that. Art and Soul, one of my all time favorites, is about showing up for the muses, day after day. Yet, for the last few years, I faithfully show up, alright, but only when editors give me deadlines, only when I need to add heft to my checking account.
That’s why I’m terrified. Blogging every day feels like streaking in front of a crowded arena. Granted, my subscriber list so far amounts to what, my mom and a couple friends?, but, if I do this right, I hope to create a following. That’s a scary thing to say.
Why would anyone want to follow me? Who am I to command respect? Yes, I suffer massive insecurity even though I’m what the world might call a successful writer. I’ve sold and written 16 books. I’ve been on big TV talk shows. I write for the kind of national magazine you find in dentists’ offices. Yet, I’m still terrified.
But when was terror ever a decent reason to cut off your brilliance? All terror really means is you’re listening to the wrong voice. In everyone’s head, there are always two voices. There’s the voice of your true calling, your magnificence, if you will.
And then there’s the imposter, the voice I like to call my Inner Salieri. If you saw the 1984 film, Amadeus, you know all about Antonio Salieri, a Venetian composer and director of the Hapsburg Opera. In the film, made from the 1979 play of the same name, Salieri was intensely jealous of Mozart. He recognized the young composer’s artistic gift and did everything he could to sabotage him. That’s why I call the voice that continually tries to defile every noble attempt at creating art my “Inner Salieri.” It’s the voice that puts a roadblock between me and everything the higher forces are asking me to do. In my opinion, it’s the root cause of most depression and unhappiness. It’s a tricky bastard.
That’s why arming myself against my Inner Salieri is a day-by-day process, one that can only succeed with discipline. One that can only succeed by showing up day after day on this blog, revealing my thoughts and opening up the trench coat to the naked real me inside.