So. My name is Erin and I am so glad to welcome you to my new site. Well, newish. Mythconception in its initial form was a blog that had, for the most part, been a simple platform for my online musings for about five years.
Blogging was somewhat of a revelation for me when I first started. I’d been writing for a long time to that point – it’s something I have utterly loved doing since I could pick up a pencil, really – but had kind of always been crippled by that fear of entering into such an open forum for scrutiny and criticism; publishing something that I’d put so much of myself into…well to be honest it was almost like purposely walking into a crowded shopping centre in my knickers. Few places are more exposed than the internet these days, so I guess you could say I was a little nervy.
I think perhaps that’s where the byline came from. The innate need to escape that fear.
What I discovered though, was something marvellous. Once you’ve started and learned to handle the heat of inevitable disagreement at times, I discovered that few things embed courage into a writer’s creative bones like publishing online. Over time it taught me better and more effective ways of dealing objectively with criticism, but – rather surprisingly – it unearthed a weakness I hadn’t realised I had: that I was genuinely bad at accepting compliments for the things I created. It was a real eye opener to my true opinion of myself in a lot of ways, and there – at the beginning – it was not a good place to be. Blogging made me realise at the outset that I was subconsciously almost always relying on approval given by others for my creative self worth, and – most importantly – that it was an attitude I had to be proactive at dealing with if I was ever going to be either honest or successful as a writer of any kind.
Over time, I came to love the fact not so much that I could freely express myself, but – more than that – that I could handle expressing myself, without being crippled by doubt or perfectionism (seriously: no-one has ripped more first pages out of a diary than I have in my life). I don’t know the best way to describe that realisation. Maybe that I felt unexpectedly, if quietly, as though I’d just discovered I’d been holding my breath for the longest time and now could suddenly breathe again. I felt it all gust into me, sending a fresh reality billowing into my lungs. A creative tracheotomy, I guess you could call it.
Once that happened, suddenly I was able to speak out loud (figuratively speaking) about things that had to date been extraordinarily hard to voice, even for an extrovert like me. The two edged sword that is singledom. Dealing with the loss of our farm dogs, and subsequently that last link to a childhood I missed fervently. The dual lost-and-foundness of my city existence when I was there. Happy things. Sad things. All manner of things. It was all so very freeing.
That was, as I said, five years ago. Strangely though, a few years later I began to lose that love in a lot of ways. I went from feeling like I could suddenly speak out loud to feeling like I had nothing of use to say anymore. All I could think wasWhat a weird place to be all of a sudden.
So I logged off. For the longest time.
Looking back now, I realise a lot of that had to do with the difficult emotional reality of my life for the last couple of years. Some extraordinary and utterly beautiful highs, to some very crushing lows. I was all over the place, so looking back now I guess it’s only natural that my thoughts and feelings were too. It wasn’t that I had nothing to offer. It was that I had nothing cohesive to offer; nothing but a great big dust storm of ideas, feelings and doubt. Which brings us to now.
Just over six months ago, I moved home. Back to the country and closer to my family. For want of a better turn of phrase, if life were a tree, mine was sick and the only way to fix it was a good prune back to its stump and a return to its roots. So yeah. Here I am. And at 31, I’ve finally I’ve started to grow into my own skin and know a little more of who I am, what I’m capable of and what I want. All good things, I think.
And, as my dearly beloved Bruce Springsteen says (you’ll hear a lot about him in this blog, because I just love him to bits – warning you now), What I’ve got, I have earned, and what I’m not, I have learned. And I guess maybe in some ways you don’t fully learn either of those things until you fully lose sight of them both for a while, which I did. And now I’m here. With a voice again.
So with all that in mind, I decided that if I now get to reap the benefits of having the minty fresh breath of a happier life filling my creative lungs, Mythconception – which helped me break so much wished-for but unexpected ground – deserves the same, hence the revamped site which I have had an absolute BALL working on.
But, as I said, welcome. I’m so glad you’re here, whoever and wherever you are. There are so many stories out there in the world just waiting to be told; for all I know, you – reading this, this very second – could have just such a story. If you do, I encourage you to not die with that music in you. Speak up. Speak out.
It made the world of difference for me.