When I first started this blog, I was under the impression that no-one would want to hear what I had to say. I'd found it in real-life - folk would talk past me, cut me off, dismiss my opinion - until I simply shut up.

Now, nearly 5 years later, I've come a long way. Not only do I have thousands of posts here (garnering 185,794 page views and counting), but I've written for a few magazines, published a plethora of other blogs, and voiced my opinion on forums across cyberspace. I've stood up and been counted offline too, taking charge while still involved in church, leading out and speaking up. It's an about-turn from the timid wallflower who never spoke her mind.

And yet...

There's still the element of "who would want to read this?!" that's threatening me on my writing road. I've never thought of myself as the life of the party, the most interesting human in the room, the one with fascinating stories to tell or who can hold your rapt attention. I don't tell a good joke, I dream more than I get out and experience. All of which I view as essential to publishing anything major. And all of which affect how I see myself as a creative writer.

It's one thing to churn out instructions and manuals and fact documents. It's another entirely to capture the imagination of a reader and keep their attention beyond the first line. And that's where my self-confidence falls down completely!

I'm really struggling with this one as I tackle my new writing project and tweak some of the old ones still languishing unpublished. I don't want to over-think what I write - "me" has to shine through. But at the same time, I need to convince myself that "me" is enough, and not try to be someone else. As much as I admire other bloggers, other writers, other speakers - I'm not them. I'm uniquely me.

I faced similar fears getting up to speak in high school. I used to blush if someone just looked at me, never mind having to stand in front of a class and give a speech. Until the day I decided I'd bluff it - if I couldn't inherently be confident, I'd act as if I were. And guess what - bit by bit it became reality instead of mere show. (As my aunt is fond of saying "if you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullsh*t")

Perhaps that's how I need to deal with the way I view my writing. In spite of my mental trembling knees and foundering trains of thought, I simply need to suck it up and pour myself out onto those pages as the ideas flow. Then see whether the world wants to read it or if it's merely stories for the grandkids, tucked away for someone to find one day.