There are some things in life that really upset me. People knowing who I am is one of them. I’m not as introverted as you might think. I just don’t like when people can look at what I’ve done and form their own opinions about it while knowing that I was the curator or artist. Whether they think good or bad things, I’d rather watch from the shadows.
Sorry, if that’s weird.
That’s the main reason I started this blog. I can put up snippets of my work and share what I’ve recently bled through a pen without worrying about someone actually knowing who I am. I value the anonymity. Still yet, I’m paranoid.
I do other things – violin, going new places, teaching, guitar… So why is it just my writing?
If you have any ideas, let me know.
I usually hold back on asking for comments about my work or future ideas or any other social interactions. It’s not that I’m afraid of people’s opinions (because I know all people are different) or because I’m afraid of being critiqued (because Lord knows I need it). I just avoid it because as my own worst critic, I remain unsure as to whether my work is actually ready to be presented with me standing proudly beside it. I’m not sure if my skill level is high enough as a writer. I only want to present what is my absolute best (reason #1 I don’t post so much).
I recently came to the understanding that despite how unsure I may feel, if I don’t take that leap, I’ll be standing on the edge of the cliff for the rest of my life because I’m probably never going to be completely happy with what I write. (New writers or anyone else struggling with uncertainty concerning their gift, please take note.)
- Someone is always going to love what you do. No matter how horrible you might believe that you are, there is going to be someone who will genuinely enjoy it. Yes, most of the world may hate it possibly as much as you yourself, but you might miss that one golden person if you stay hidden in your shell.
- Someone is always going to appreciate what you do. I have a cousin who also writes. We’re different. Extremely different. He likes science fiction/fantasy and is a marvel at descriptive writing. He gets his inspiration differently from me and has a completely different style. We recently began exchanging emails, and he let me read the first chapter of his current book. I have never appreciated another writer more than I do him, and I know he feels the same. Not because we’re family but because we both have a love of something yet go about loving it in a completely different way. We don’t have to like each others writing to appreciate what we do.
- A tiny step is all you need sometimes. I recently got an email from an editor concerning an article I’d written and sent in a long time ago. I was incredibly surprised, having completely forgotten about it, when she wanted to publish it. It was the first attempt, first draft, first try at an article ever. The magazine is small, and there’s not much compensation but still, first try? How often does that happen? It was the tiny step of sending in that article that gave me the monumental strength and encouragement to finally make this decision and write this post.
- You need support. If you’re anything like me, traversing through this scorched, barren wasteland is much easier done with companions looking towards the same goal.
- Be realistic. Not everyone’s going to like everything you write. Accept it. This last piece of advice is probably the most important I’d ever learned. Just because you’re introverted, you prefer to be alone, you’re afraid of what other people think, you’re afraid of what you think, and you’d rather spend your life not knowing than feel that awful regret, do it anyway. It’s scary. It’s hard. Close your eyes, and do it. Ask for people’s help. Ask for their opinions. Don’t assume you can figure it all out on your own. You’ll soon learn that when you see other people loving, appreciating, and cheering on what you do, you start to love it just a little bit, too.
If you already have enormous amounts of confidence and think that everything you write is golden, you don’t need this. You don’t need any of this. Just go along on your merry way.
Anyway, all of these combined events have made me come somewhat out of my shell. No longer completely anonymous. Don’t freak out when I get a little less impersonal and ask for comments about things. If you comment, great. I’ll answer your questions to the best of my ability and listen closely to your advice. If you don’t, well that’s fine, too. 🙂
If you need someone to be to you what my cousin is to me, I’d be happy to help. I’m not all scary and serious and weird. I promise.
The only thing allowing me to do this is the safety net in the back of my mind telling me that I can always delete this blog and start over with a different name if I mess this up too badly, and things become painful. Safety nets are the best.
(I love exciting stuff: skydiving, traveling, exploring, etc. Like I said, I’m just weird about my writing.)
So I’m not as serious and dull as I first seemed, and it’s going to stay that way for now on. I’m no longer the weird guy who writes weird stories about random weird pictures. I’m Nate, and I’m here to help you. And also receive your help.
So let us read, study other writing, hone our own skills, and live because in this crazy, fascinating world, we are only given a short time to leave our mark.