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.
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.