Why is blogging so frightening?  For me?  It's essentially the newest and quickest form of self publishing, and while it's an exciting way to get one's thoughts, hopes and vision of his corner of the universe out to others, for me it has a lot in common with the stumbling, slightly slurred speech I gave last night at a bar to a group of about twenty friends and former co-workers on the occasion of my last day at work.  They both share the same steps as any other act of creation:
1.  You are called.  Friends are encouraging you, you are encouraging yourself, and thoughts of "Hells, yeah, I have something to say" peek up from the desert like little prairie dogs.

2.  It seems like a great idea.  You are primed for it.  All of your life experience has been leading to this moment!  Out will spill words of majesty and warmth, irreverence and mirth.  Just you wait, friends.

3.  You open your mouth to speak, and realize you are a whole lot less certain than you thought you were.  Shit.  You should never have trusted those feelings.  Traitors.  You are abandoned and now, forced to speak. 

4.  And out it pours.  Some of it true, a lot of it calculated to please your audience, who can see the blatancy, much of it aching with the need to be liked and accepted, and maybe eighteen percent of it  hoping to help, to serve, to provide encouragement, and thanks. 

5.  Once you've spoken, you immediately wish you had invisible fingers that could reach out from your mouth and snatch those words back.  They were imperfect, they were pretentious, they were beneath you, and worst of all, they didn't express all the magic you hoped they would.

6.  You spend moments of the next day wishing you'd never spoken at all.

7.  And yet, you believe it's a good thing you listened to the call.  Any damage done was probably reversible, and you would have regreted letting the moment pass so much more than you regret the imperfections of the answer you gave.  And your words and thoughts and ways of expressing them have merit.  Most people say so.  And you trust there's a reason the call came.  There was a purpose to it.  You trust that.  And speak again, at some later point, in spite of the pressure of that.
Joe Hartman