I have just sent out the reworked first 4 chapters of my manuscript to a select number of betareaders.
These are people whom I love and trust, who all have a particular outlook on different aspects of my writing and who I know will give me honest and useful feedback. They are aware of how writing is a craft I will forever be learning. I can be (quite) sure none of them will think any less of me when they spot the awful bits in my writing and the flaws in my thinking. Still, every time I send something out, I have to call on a deep layer of courage to get myself to click that 'send' button.
Of course, being me, I had to dig my teeth into that feeling. Find out about its nature and its origins. I didn't have to look far. I've written about perfection before, I've hinted at the human fear of 'not being good enough', of what could come back at you when you put yourself out there.
As if by cosmic accident, I found this video a few days ago. It's a TED talk by Brene Brown, a professor at the University of Houston, Texas, who has spent the past 10 years researching courage, authenticity, vulnerability and shame.
Some of what she says is probably (MBTI-) J stuff (the measuring stick, etc.), which I can only relate to from a distance, being far out on the Perceiving scale. But for the most part, what she talked about was very recognisable. And insightful. Take out the banana nut muffins and stuff in dark, Belgian chocolate, and we're talking very, very recognisable.
The talk is about 20 minutes long and well worth that time. As a bonus, Brene is an excellent speaker with a great sense of humour.