Pushing the “publish” button, then and now


It’s coming up to seven years since I started blogging here and it occurred to me how much has changed in my relationship to blogging. When I started, and for quite a long time after, I was terrified most times I pushed the “Publish” button.

I was scared I was going to be attacked, ridiculed, mocked, heckled. In Australia, we have a well-worn trope called the “tall poppy syndrome” which says that someone sticking their head above the parapet – ie, standing out from the crowd in any way – will have it lopped off. And here I was talking about overtly intellectual stuff in a country that prides itself on its anti-intellectualism.

One of the things I was most scared of was using “big words” and there were many times I battled myself to retain a “big word” rather than switching to something more familiar. Another fear was that people in my professional life could easily google my name and discover who I was in my personal life. I was like George Costanza, one compartment couldn’t collide with another :)

It wasn’t till later that I realised my country no longer mattered so much on the internet. Most readers were from the US anyway and this was one reason why what I feared didn’t eventuate. Another was the size of audience; I had a tiny, perfectly formed audience.

What made the biggest difference was what I discovered after a little while. I discovered that authenticity provides its own protection (I’m going to switch to using the word “transparency” for “authenticity” because people give lots of meanings to the latter).

The more transparent I became, the more solid the ground beneath my feet. I learnt that one is unshakeable, unmessable-with, once there is nothing being withheld. If there is even the tiniest skerrick remaining in the Unsaid, one’s footing is precarious and one can be messed with.

Nowadays, there is no fear. There is joy, especially on those happy occasions when I say something to myself in such a way that it vanishes in the saying. It completes itself, sinking back into that whence it came such that five minutes later I can scarcely remember the topic. And there is curiosity, community and love.

I’m grateful to be living at this time when blogging has become available to all. It is a gift to me and my life.




18 thoughts on “Pushing the “publish” button, then and now

  1. Learned a word here…skerrick…and what makes you think the US of A ain’t the anti-intellectual bookmark of the entire book reading world.

    By the way…your post is inspiring.



    • Hi Doug. That’s another thing about blogging, one discovers human experience is very similar no matter where one lives (and probably each country has its version of the tall poppy syndrome). And then too the aspects that appear to differ seem charming. For example, US people who write and comment on blogs occur to me as having a wonderful absence of defensiveness. We in Australia must have got the US’s ration of defensiveness :)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Ghadah. I get it. Some days it really takes something to press that button (and keep it pressed).

      On the subject of editing, one’s relationship with posts from years ago is also interesting. Somewhere along the line, I resolved to let my old posts be (and not edit them except if something is unclear), esp where I’d said something that occurred to me as clumsy or “unacceptable”. It seems important to me to honour what I said at a particular time; to acknowledge that I did say that thing at that time.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It is, indeed, amazing, how we evolve through the years. I’m delighted to read about your journey as you reflect upon it regarding your blogging experience. You are so thoughtful and self-aware, Narelle. :)


  3. “The more transparent I became, the more solid the ground beneath my feet.” Many never learn this. We are who we are, for better or worse, and we never stop learning.

    It’s interesting how our thinking and our blogs evolve through the years. The communication and interaction we gain are immensely satisfying. Part of it is learning what our “voice” is.


  4. Thanks for sharing your vulnerabilities and what the shift was like. I’m glad you kept blogging. I writing teacher told me once that if you want to stay unseen on the page, reveal reveal reveal… because when you come from that authentic place then the reader sees themselves instead of you. It sounds like you’ve been doing that. BRAVO.


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