...And when I say "Out there," imagine I'm sweeping my hand across the horizon, staring wide-eyed into the great beyond as I whisper the words with a kind of religious reverence. "Putting ourselves... out there." Because that's what it feels like. When I write a blog post or give an opinion or share a story, putting myself and my work out there can be like stepping out onto a tightrope stretched over the Grand Canyon. As a young, inexperienced writer, I worry that I sound like one of those clueless "newbs" who has just hit the scene and suddenly wants to act like a big boy. This is mostly true when interacting with others, sharing blog posts or discussing serious topics. Many times I've held my tongue for fear of looking like a buffoon. Because I really don't want to look like a buffoon. And going back to my tightrope analogy, I worry that IF I DO sound buffoonish, that my mistakes will not be forgotten. I'll have fallen off the rope never to return, my name forever etched into the Wall of Buffoonery. SHORT VERSION: "Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent." For the most part, this is me. I lurk, admiring the words of others while holding back my own. But I feel like I'm missing out. That maybe I'd be better off risking it, taking my lumps, learning trial by fire style. Not just with writing fiction but with sharing opinions in general. Thoughts?