by Craig Gabrysch
First thing you do when you write, is write.
The second thing you do is decide if you want other people to read what you wrote.
The second part is the one loaded with the most peril, if only because a misstep either opens you up to a world of hurt or frees you completely.
Writing is, in and of itself, liberating. You free thoughts and emotions by running them together into sentences. It’s cathartic, that’s for sure. If I can write just a few hundred words at the start of each day, I feel invigorated. I feel like I’ve accomplished something massive.
But, writing is also an undertaking that’s important to me.
Even if you’re “just” writing little adventure yarns that aren’t “Literature” (see, I used the big “L”, showing proper deference), you’re still investing emotionally in your work and, more than likely, showing a little of your own mental/emotional state in the story. After all, the way we feel while we do anything (drive, build a chair, have sex, kiss, swear, drink, open doors) shows while we perform the action, doesn’t it? That’s why non-verbal cues are so important in communication. So, why not in writing too?
But, the thing is, you ain’t just opening a door. You’re writing. What you do on the page lasts until you destroy it. It’s permanent.
Which is why it’s so hard to share your writing. Because it’s part of you. And by sharing it, you open yourself up to rejection or acceptance. What you wrote could be a blog post, a short story, a journal entry, or a novel. Some people share their journals freely, others posts blogs every day. Other people write fiction. But, man, somedays you’re one one-star review away from drinking a bottle of whiskey and throwing your laptop out the window (and your pen and notebook with it).
Lord knows, I’ve got stories that will never see the light of day. They weren’t emotionally too much. They were just crap. I’d spent time and effort and willpower on them. But, what do you do with something like that?
Scrap it and use it for parts.
Cause that’s life. Not everything works the first time, but everything is a learning experience.
So, back to the second decision. It’s still the hardest. Is your writing good enough? Is it what you envisioned? You either have to prepare yourself emotionally for the leap, or not. But the first choice is one rooted in strength. The second is one rooted in fear.
And, like a very intelligent fictional character in a distant time and place once said, “Fear is the mindkiller.”