Every now and then, we all need to have a reality check with ourselves. Sometimes, we’re hit with truths we don’t want to admit. I’ve already confessed the fact that I don’t care too much for vulnerability, but I know that it’s necessary. I’ve also had to come to terms that as much as I would’ve LIKED to believe that I didn’t care about what people thought about me, deep down, I did care a little. I wasn’t sure why I cared so much. But I did know it had become a bit of a hindrance in my writing.
I had a few story ideas that I hesitated to write about. Why? Because of the nagging voice that wondered the following (this list is not all-inclusive, mind you):
“What will people think?”
“Will they like it?”
“Will they assume I writing about someone in particular, or even about myself under and claiming it to be “fiction”?”***
“Will people *gasp* and clutch their pearls?”
***QUICK RANT: If I say my character attended my alma mater, then I must be talking about my roommate. Most of my stories are based in Detroit, my hometown, so I have to be talking about a relative of mine or someone I’m friends with, or perhaps dated. Let that character have natural hair – DEFINITELY ME!!!! (Even though I’m not the first or last person to cut off their relaxer). Once I wrote a short piece about a woman that was ill and even my hubs looked at me and asked me if I wanted to tell him something after he read it. This is why it’s called fiction, folks. It’s made up. Not real. Entertaining fabrications that I’ve created from my overactive imagination. For play play. END RANT***
Still, I would second-guess my writing and eventually stall because I cared so damn much.
And I really shouldn’t.
Because what they think shouldn’t matter.
Sometimes, I’ll go through my older writings and go, “This was good. Why did I stop this project?” Oh yeah, because I was too effin’ scary to keep it up. That’s right.
How could I expect to be successful at this thing if I wrote in order to please others? Left things out or skirted around it because of fear of how it would be received?
Simply put, I can’t. Because just like the issue with being vulnerable, it was just one more thing holding me up. I had put myself into a box in order to avoid getting my feelings hurt. I understand now that hurt feelings just might be necessary. Or I could just be blowing things out of proportion (my imagination is hyperactive).
So, lesson one in my reality check: It’ s okay to be vulnerable. Lesson two: Write the story. The whole story. Pearls may be clutched, but then again, maybe not.