The Nerve-Wracking Risk of Sharing Our Writing

I am way out of my comfort zone.

Until I started this blog I had never shared any of my writing publicly, in any shape or form. In reading other blogs I know that I am not the only one who struggles with this paradoxical writing dilemma – we want so very badly to write and share it with others but it is always such a risk, as the thought of being rejected, laughed at, or worse, our writing being considered not all that interesting, can threaten to cause us not to write anything at all!  It is a risk we just have to take, and it is nerve-racking.

I think that writers are quite private people actually, I know I am! Hence this great paradox! That is why the encouragement that we give one another on WordPress is so invaluable. I know that without it I would never have had the confidence to keep my blog going, even if only for these past 6 months!

I say all this now because as some of you are probably aware, things have been pretty turbulent ‘at home’ for quite some time.  This accelerated to the extent that a recent personal and extremely painful family trauma knocked me for six.   Now, I’ve had the stuffing knocked out of me several times before  but that doesn’t mean it gets any easier as many of you know.   I will be honest; what I really wanted to do was to retreat from everything, hide in a corner and lick my wounds, but you can’t do that when you have somebody who needs you to help them, can you?

In the very act of having to absolutely reach out to help them in their hour of need, you find, hidden within, the remedy for your own ailing soul.  The act of giving.  But what about the act of receiving?

What I’m trying to say, but not very well, is this: If I’ve learnt anything in this life (and I have so very much to learn still) it is that I know that the very worst thing I can do at times like these is to shut everything out.  Even though this offers a state of complete isolation, numbed and protected from the tack-sharp reality of life’s raw pain, its strange comfort doesn’t last long.  Infact, it makes everything worse.

So I knew that I had to take the hands of those so close to me as they offered up their own love and care towards me and I let them help me get back on my feet.  I’m halfway there. A little safer.

I didn’t want to put my writing, my blog, aside again.  It hasn’t been easy to keep it going lately, but I have given it  my level best.  All my writing plans have gone very, very pearshaped.  So instead, and to my great surprise,  I never imagined I would be writing poetry here, but for some reason I find that I am having to grab paper and pen at odd times of the day and night and scribble what comes to mind.  I haven’t done this for years.

Here, then, is my poem.  Together with a few of my photographs taken during a visit to The Norfolk Broads, one of the most beautiful waterways in Britain.  I had intended to write about this visit, but this is what I wrote about instead.

I’m not quite sure what is happening, it’s uncomfortable, but I know that I am writing my way out, finding my escape.  I can’t afford not to take the risk.

Thank you so much for listening, thank you for reading.

Not Quite Myself

I’ve been to hell & back you see so I haven’t been quite myself

Trying to maintain and keep it all flowing free.

It’s not meant to be like this, is it?

It’s not like I’m 23.

Neathishead, Norfolk Broads
(c) Sherri Matthews 2013

Get a grip, take a hold on this bumpy ride

This a predicament alright.

There is no set of rules.

Thought I’d learnt my lines before I threw away the script.

Ranworth, Norfolk Broads, UK (c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Ranworth, Norfolk Broads,
(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Been to hell & back, you see

So excuse me while I breathe.


I can’t pretend it’s any different

Though, search me, I wish it were.

I wish I could be like all the rest and keep going nonetheless.

Mallard Duck & Babies (c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Mallard Duck & Babies
(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Whoa there, this girl is all over the place!

But I’m dealing with the matter in hand.

She’s a little bit touched in the head, my dear,

A cut too deep while she slept.

Great Crested Grebe on Nest, Ranworth Broad, Norfolk Broads, UK (c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Great Crested Grebe on Nest, Ranworth Broad, Norfolk Broads,
(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Scrutinise me, meditate me, say a prayer for me, please.

I know that Jesus is by my side, so it’s really not that bad.

I’ve been to hell & back you see,

So excuse me if I’m not myself.

Sunset at Ranworth Broad, Norfolk Broads UK (c) Sherri Matthews 2013

Sunset at Ranworth Broad, Norfolk Broads UK
(c) Sherri Matthews 2013

Can’t I just fly into the sunset?

Can’t I just stand beneath the storm?

Can a rainbow bring bands of golden hope

To a mind so lost for words?


Rainbow on River Bure, Norfolk Broads (c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Rainbow on River Bure, Norfolk Broads
(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

I’ve been to hell & back you see, I’m sorry if I’m not all I can be.

Yet even in my darkest hour and  you offered me your hand

You asked, “And how are you?”

I knew then that I was saved

Because I knew then that I was not alone.

Evening at South Walsham Broad, Norfolk Broads (c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Evening at South Walsham Broad, Norfolk Broads
(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Sometimes, it is in the simplicity of the beauty of God’s creation, His gift to us, which brings the greatest healing of all and inspires us to write our way out of the pain.

(Sherri Matthews)

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri is a writer with work published in print magazines, anthologies and online. As a young British mum of three, she emigrated to California and stayed for twenty years. Today she lives in England's West Country, a full-time carer within her family. Her current WIP after completing her memoir is a psychological thriller.
This entry was posted in Blogging, Family Life, Grief, Musings, Nature & Wildlife, Photos, Poems, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Nerve-Wracking Risk of Sharing Our Writing

  1. Kristin says:

    What a beautiful, honest post, Sherri! I think, we all (or at least most of us) can relate. Writing certainly is healing, yet scary. I am glad you decided to push forward and not go into hiding, and I hope that things may get easier for you! Love the poem and the pictures, thanks for sharing!
    Big hug from Mexico!


    • Sherri says:

      Thank you Kristin so much for your lovely, encouraging words, it means so very much to me. And a hug from Mexico too, wow, hugging right back! What a special lady you are 🙂


  2. Jessica Payne says:

    Your bravery in writing is an inspiration to all of us who much rather hide our pain, our shortcomings and imperfections. But, really we find that what people think isn’t what matters. We must find what we are passionate about and just GO FOR IT! Writing is healing and it brings us back to ourself and our creator. In our deepest sadness we find our God strong and true. Everything else fades in comparison to His great love and mercy. His peace is there for the taking. I pray peace and healing to you and abundant grace and love surround you. Light and goodness WILL prevail and I’m excited for YOUR upcoming victory!!!! In your writing, answers will flow as God moves in the depths of your soul.


    • Sherri says:

      Jessie, thank you so much for your beautiful, loving and such encouraging words here. You give me great inspiration as you surround me with your love and support to me and mine! You are absolutely right, we need to write about what moves us, what is truth in our hearts. I can’t write any other way! Blessings and love coming right back at you dear, lovely lady xoxoxoxox 🙂


  3. Please keep up this inspirational work.


  4. Iamrcc says:

    I loved your “Not Quite Myself”. Sharing our thoughts through words is difficult. I find even my brief little notes of thank you to visitors to my site, take a lot of time. I want to try an convey exactly what I am thinking and feeling. I want them to know how much I appreciate the time they took to visit. While I don’t write, I share the same fears when posting a photo. Will people come? Will they see t what I saw? When all is said and done whenever we share a part of ourselves, we are open to hurt and disappointment, but also hope and cheer. The one thing we can wish for is to not go through the fears and apprehension alone. So you should know, we are out here walking with you and supporting you even when you are not quite yourself.


    • Sherri says:

      Dear Iamrcc, I am so touched by your beautiful words, thank you so much for taking the time to share with me your feelings about this post and about your own fears. I am just like you in that I seem to take ages to reply to comments on both mine and other blogs as I want to make sure that I say what I really mean to convey. It really does mean so much when others not only visit our blogs and read our posts, look at our photographs but are uplifted and encouraged, even have cause to smile when they do so. I wrote this post when I was going through a period of grief over a personal situation which brought me very low for a time. To know that others are walking with me and supporting me is the most wonderful blessing indeed, and I thank you so very much for reminding me of this. Being vulnerable can be scary and nerve wracking but it can also bring the most wonderful rewards 🙂


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