It Is Like Wearing a Bathing Suit

Being from the south, beauty pageants are in my past, as well as swim suit competitions. Talk about wanting to permanently erase some images from all minds exposed to that! Never mind the swimsuits for “scholarship programs,” comfort in a swimsuit in front of peers has never been a breeze.

For instance, the constant primping that teenagers inevitably face before pool parties and meet-ups at the beach. Oh, the agony! (OK, most of the time it is not that bad, but work with me here.)

Being a pudgy child, it may be that discomfort in a bathing suit has been a reality from elementary years. Though by no means enough of one to keep me from the water. This fish loves to swim and explore the shore.

Why all of this talk about uncomfortable bathing suit scenarios? I am getting there.

With writing comes moments of exposure akin to public speaking in a bathing suit.

A recent re-tweet on Twitter summarized “good writing” as follows, “If you don’t spill your heart’s blood on the page, or leave your soul’s echo in the story, they’re only words.”

On trips to the beach I am primarily comfortable in my skin. Everyone is in a swim suit…some needing more fabric than they allotted. Everyone is more exposed. Move this to a pool party among coed believers and up goes the inhibition alert. Especially when it is a kids pool party and I am primarily the only mommy in the pool. Anyone else been there?

The readership of my posts makes me feel the same way. With no Google Analytics or any other stat counter plugins on this blog, I have no idea how many people nor whom is reading my diary so to speak. Unless people I know personally tell me they have read a post then for all I know I am writing to my pals and gals at the beach.

Why would writing for an audience of strangers feel less threatening than writing for an audience of friends, family, and acquaintances?

Much like evangelists in the past who traveled between differing congregations, a blogger without real community readers, those who know him or her and their daily walk, can write virtually without accountability. That is why my insecurity as a writer makes me cringe at times when a friend or acquaintance tells me they read a post. I worry about grammar errors, the quality of the post, was I dogmatic, was I too vulnerable, how did this change their opinion of me?

All of these insecurities are not of the Lord. My purpose in writing is to share. Be it our life, our Lord, or encouragement to run the race with perseverance.

When a friend tells me she read a post,  it also makes me joyful because it provides accountability. Often times real-life readers provide affirmation and spiritual support. Authenticity is a cheap word in many cases today, but true possession of authenticity in speech, life, and writing is worth more than thousands of page hits per post. Thank you to “real-life” readers who help keep me authentic.

I praise the Lord for giving me this word picture while I was at the beach with my kids today. While comfortably wearing my bathing suit in front of strangers He brought this concept full circle. Praise be to His Name, Jesus.

P.S. Don’t worry, I never blog in a bathing suit in real life. Thanks for stopping by. I am linking with Katie and Stacey at:

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  1. Write it girl. Be vulnerable, be real and share from your heart. Try your best not to make grammatical mistakes but also realize you probably will and don’t get caught up in it. And by all means, if it makes you feel brave then blog in your bathing suit! 🙂

    Great post.

  2. Love this and I so relate to so much of it! (Though the only time in my life I was ever comfortable in a swimsuit was the year I was 17 and an exchange student in Mexico. An active outdoor life and Mediterranean diet do a body good!) But I blog in relative obscurity until someone pokes their head into my oblivion and comments on something I wrote. Sends off warning flares galore! (A fact which hasn’t been helped when a coworker took a blog post out of context and tattled or when my mom persists in telling me that history isn’t EXACTLY how I remember it.) And yet He compels me to continue. He gives me words everyday. And He has given me relationships, inroads to the lives of women I never would have met any other way, friends and sisters! He has taken me out of isolation and put me in a family! It’s pretty amazing! And I love it! So I keep writing!

  3. Found your beautiful space through “Write It Girl”. There are only a handful of people who I actually know IRL who read my blog. But I am so thankful for the community of women who I have yet to meet who encourage me through their words!

    • Hi Barbie,
      I too am amazed by some of the beautiful people that I have met and learn from via blogging and Twitter. It is amazing how we can develop friendships in the 21st century. Thank you so much for stopping by!
      Brooke

  4. I have never been comfortable in a bathing suit.

    And I have only one in-real-life friend who reads my blog. My husband knows about it, but isn’t interested in reading it. Beyond that, I’ve been too scared to share the address with other friends and family, so I *so* understand what you’re saying.

    I kind of wrote about it in my first Write It, Girl post at the beginning of the month actually.

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