The One Thing That Terrifies Me

I’ve never been much of a writer. As a child, I didn’t keep a diary. In high school, I opted out of poetry assignments by submitting tape recordings of my songs instead. And since I studied guitar in college and graduate school, I managed to earn a master’s degree in music without publishing a thesis.

All this to say that most of my life I’ve avoided writing down my thoughts and ideas whenever and however possible; not because I didn’t enjoy the process, but because I was afraid of the end result — of being judged.

The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it. — Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

So why start a blog? Why publish my thoughts on a website for anyone to read? Why commit to the one thing that terrifies me most?

Because, my ideas matter (and yours do too).

Courage is a Heart Word

According to research professor and author Brené Brown, the word courage originally meant, “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.”

Writing this blog is my act of courage. It is me showing up in my most vulnerable state to share the thoughts and ideas that I believe in — to speak my mind by opening my heart.

I may fumble over my words, or battle days like today where I nearly fail to ship, but I am going to keep at it. I am going to commit to sharing what matters, despite any judgement that comes in return.

And I hope you’ll do the same.

Take a Stand

If you ever fear that your ideas are not worth sharing, I implore you to think again. Be courageous. Take a stand for what you believe and by all means, share to your heart’s content.

Great ideas can only spread when they are written down, spoken aloud, or acted upon. And if you take ownership of your ideas and share them with conviction, I promise you this — you will never stand alone.

Je suis Charlie.


Image: Eva Cruz / National Arts Strategies

  • Crystal Foth

    Love this… I have a couple of posts I’ve written and never published… maybe it’s time to hit that publish button. I look forward to following your journey!

    • Philip Graulty

      Thanks Crystal. I look forward to following your journey too! Let me know when you publish those posts. Seriously, add the link to this thread. I’d love to read them.

      • Crystal Foth

        I think what stops me is the question of should I publish blog posts like this on my blog about hopes/dreams/personal stories, etc. Or should I just keep it to art/creativity specific. Is that the place for more personal blog posts? What are your thoughts?… when I decided to start my website… I picked the name because it describes me best… so do I stick with that frame of mind?

        • Philip Graulty

          Hi Crystal, you raise some good questions. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is one right answer. If you were to include more personal blog posts on, it could actually work to your advantage. Your site already reflects your personal life and includes pictures of you and your daughter so adding more personality is fitting. However, if the posts you’re writing don’t have anything to do with being a fine-art mom, it could confuse your audience. One way to get around this is to redefine your website and rewrite your about page to reflect the new direction and content that you want to create. Or, you may need an entirely separate blog. This is something that I struggled with over the past year and I ultimately decided that I needed a second website, hence I’m glad I made that decision because it allows for conversations like this one! Whatever you decide, my advice to you is to keep writing and creating — don’t let the platform/medium get in the way of your thoughts and ideas.

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  • Madeline

    Thanks, Phillip. I appreciate this post and love that you’ve started this community. I’ve listened to two podcasts so far and both are very inspiring and helpful. All the best to you!

    • Philip Graulty

      Hi Madeline, thank you so much for your kind words! I really appreciate the time you’ve taken to listen and comment. Is there is any artistic practice, discipline, or business question you’d like me to address?