If I could write for an empty room, a totally empty audience, I would be incredibly prolific. 


I guess it's stage fright. I want to write, I really do! I love writing. And the topic I love to write about the most is witchcraft.


I am very verbose, and this is a little similar in real life. If you give me an opening I can talk for hours, unless I consciously moderate myself so that my long-ass spiels only last for a few minutes or at least until I sense the mind of my audience begin to wander. 


When I first started up my blog over at The Chaos Witch, I wrote a great deal. I found it so easy to speak of my craft, as I was fairly sure no one would read my writing, and indeed, in the beginning, no one was. Even still today a few years later, I have a very small audience for my blog, but it is large enough now that I get regular comments and I have some friends who read regularly and share my posts when they are good. So I've become hesitant. Every time I write there is a tiny spotlight on me, one that wasn't there before, and it stops me from really letting loose at times. I fear the ping backs when they arrive. Who will take me to task on what I have written, what if I accidentally tap into some drama? What if someone calls me out for being politically incorrect, or just plain wrong? What if someone just chooses to be snarky for no reason at all, which is incredibly rude but seems to happen more and more often? I write long posts in my draft inbox and then promptly delete them. I write very little for my blog here at PaganSquare, even though I am so incredibly honoured to contribute to this space considering whom I share it with, but I seem to hold back, wary of the large audience that PaganSquare potentially has, worried someone will notice me, and something will go terribly wrong. So the posts become less controversial. I write about elements and gardening and parts of my practice that would bore me to tears if I was reading about it on someone else's blog. I don't write about my controversial ideas, I scale down my political leanings, I don't post about spells or rituals details very often if at all, and I don't comment at all on community drama if I can help it. This is quite different to how I used to write. But now not only do I fear what strangers think of my work, but I worry about my views and practices, and the method in which I share them, jarring those I know and that knowledge changing our relationship. I've put 'To Keep Silent" in front of "To Dare", the cart before the horse. Perhaps people will respect me more if I am moderate and correct and secretive. Ugh. I'm not getting much out of that equation, and neither is anyone else. 


This is amplified by a little shake of the broom closet concept. I don't have a craft name or a pen name so I am who I am. I still flinch slightly when I discover someone in my life who I have not previously shared my spirituality with reads my work, or saw a particularly witchy artwork, or saw a post of one of my altars on Instagram. I tested the waters of having two profiles on Facebook only to deactivate the second profile as I was being to see double and I was tired of the subterfuge. I recently posted a video on Youtube, and I deliberately disengaged synchronisation to my social media so the ping wouldn't hit a larger audience found on Facebook and Twitter. A real life friend stumbling on a video of me talking about witchcraft is a little too freaky an idea for me. So I still uploaded it, but I reduced the chances of people seeing it. I want to interact with people, I want to share my stories and my ideas, I want to reach out - but not too much. I give a little, then shrink back... give, then shrink back. I don't want to be known for the 'weird witchy stuff' that I do amongst my 'muggle' friends and family but at the same time I really want to share with my community. I don't want to hide who I am, but I also don't want to spread myself all about the place in the name of fame or infamy. I worry about the implications if it became well known in my workplace that I considered myself a witch and I did spells and had rituals with a coven. It's just not the sort of thing that fits in with day to day conversation around the work room. I've seen examples of how it has gone awry for friends who refused to set up walls, masks and boundaries in their life. I know people who have lost their jobs and been thrown into agonising battles with co-workers and in-laws. I want to let it all spill over, but I don't want it to be a big deal either. And the only thing to make it less of a big deal is to just do it and set an example, be the change, and bear the brunt of 'the worst' which might not be so bad any way.


But do I really want to normalise what I do? Witchcraft is strange, it is different. It's exciting and borderline and scary and fun. Perhaps it is delusion or some might see it as madness. But I'm not going to stop. It's part of the core of who I am. Moderating it is nothing less than moderating my very self. To downplay the word 'witch' is a futile attempt - we've all seen that. We are the radicals, the misfits, the dreamers and the believers. We just don't fit in. So why try?


So, yeah. That's why it might seem like I don't post enough or I post very little. I heavily self-moderate. An odd sort of writers block, or stage fright. My inclination is to let it all hang loose just a bit more and throw caution to the wind. I would love to hear if other writers or creators feel the same if they separate their personas - are you concerned at all by your friends, family, acquaintances or work colleagues finding out about your 'other' life? How have you learned to deal with it?