Saturday, February 4, 2012

She did it Anyway


By Juliet C. Bond
In writing, as in most things, we take a leap of faith.  We gather up bits of ourselves, observations and old ghosts, and do our best to invite them in.  Then, surrounded by this motley crew of ideas and memories, we sculpt a series of scenes.  For me, the leap comes in sharing my stories.  This makes sense because the offerings are parts of ourselves.  To share these sacred dreams are a little like undressing in front of a mirror, behind which, stands a roomful of respected peers.
Terrifying.
But we do it anyway.
We willingly shed our skins for others to cluck, fuss over and judge; believing our stories are worth the risk.
In, “Take Joy,” the prolific author, Jane Yolen writes,
Writing for a living is much easier than sitting in a therapist’s chair.  Cheaper too.  Authors get to parade their neurosis in public disguised as story.  If we are lucky, we get paid for doing it.  And we get applause as well.  As Kurt Vonnegut said, ‘Writers get to treat their mental illnesses every day.’
…That one’s writing goes out and touches someone else on that same level – thought differently- is one of the pieces of magic that attends to art.
On bad days, avoiding writing is like avoiding the mirror, never mind the peers.  It’s our own judgment that’s ultimately most damaging.  We cancel the therapy appointment with some lame excuse and watch an episode of “The Housewives of Beverly Hills,” instead.
But in the end it isn’t worth it.  If it’s our own judgment we are most afraid of, then that episode of “The Housewives,” definitely won’t be the cure.
So this is what I hope for myself and for all writers.
When I am most fearful, reluctant to attend the imaginary session.
I do it anyway.

11 comments:

  1. "On bad days, avoiding writing is like avoiding the mirror"

    Thank you, Juliet, for speaking the truth on this one. I have been guilty lately of finding excuses not to write. This is just what I needed today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gina, you had better write. It feeds your should and, when I get to read it, it feeds mine too :)
      Love you!
      J

      Delete
  2. Brilliant. And so true....I do often avoid my own judgement. I've already decided I'm going to stink and so I run away from it...even if it means cleaning the bathroom. blech.

    Great post! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Erin! Stink away! Write that shitty first draft! It's only the first step to creating something fabulous.

      Delete
  3. All of those us love those days where we sit down and the muse is with us. The scenes flows out faster than we can type. Those days are rare, at least they are for me.

    You described the difference between writers and those that want to writer. When the images in the mirror are cloudy, the writer keeps looking -- butt firmly in seat -- until it clears, or they describe the clouds. The person waiting for the muse, takes one look, gets up and puts on that episode of "The Housewives".

    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Eric! You know, I had the privilege of meeting and hearing a lecture by Gloria Steinem last night and something she said reminded me of this post, "When you are standing up for something and you see that look cross the listener's face - that one that means - "oh, man there she goes again" - do it anyway.

      It all comes down to staying true to yourself and moving through the embarrassment and doubt in order to get to something you can be proud of, right?

      Delete
  4. Great post, Juliet! I am often guilty of what you describe. Somedays I don't like my writing & somedays I totally hate it. I'm going to take your advice & do it anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suspect that you already do, Kathy. You are a brilliant and prolific writer - period. You are one of my personal heroes.

      Delete
  5. Lovely post, and an excellent reminder that our own judgment is the worst. This is almost always the cause of my avoiding writing. Going to remember this post the next time I try to let myself out of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  6. Thank you, Annie. Keep educating those Gremlins of Self-Doubt!

    ReplyDelete