I found this post so relatable that I had to share. I have only told a few people that I’m a writer and I’ve only let one person read the novel that I just completed and NO ONE has read the next one I’m working on. When past acquaintances find out that I left a successful career, they just look at me in disbelief.
“So what are you doing now?”
“Staying at home with my kids.”
“Really? Well, what do you do while they’re at school?”
“Uh, stuff…around the house. Yeah, it’s crazy how busy I am.”
Why can’t I tell them the truth? I’m a writer. Even posting my thoughts on this tiny little blog makes me uneasy. In fact, I haven’t even told my family or friends about it. Why? Because writing is like baring my soul, sharing my deepest desires and fears.
The characters we write about reflect the best and worst parts of ourselves. They are often braver than we could ever hope to be. Our characters reveal a dark side too, acting on things we fear in others, even ourselves. Writers put things on paper that we may never have the courage to speak about.
Think about it. How many of your thoughts go unspoken during the day? If you’re like me it is a very high percentage. In some cases having a built-in filter is a good thing. But, it’s also a shame that we allow so many things to go unsaid because some of it is really awesome stuff!
Fortunately when I write, that filter is reduced because the immediate judgment is removed and I have time to reflect on the words and arrange them to my liking. But then comes the dreaded moment when I share it with someone else and it’s terrifying. Will they think I’m weird, psycho, or just plain stupid?
“A great deal of talent is lost to the world for want of a little courage.” ~Sidney Smith
Well, so what if they do. There are people who go after their dreams and then there are those who criticize them for it. I’d much rather belong to the former group.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” ~Theodore Roosevelt
“If we had to say what writing is, we would have to define it essentially as an act of courage.” ~Cynthia Ozick