"Anxiety is the worst use of your imagination. Creativity is the best."
- Deepak Chopra
If you have ever been afraid to do something because of these four words, "What will people think?" then I can definitely tell you that you're not alone. I've been thinking about this recently and so I wanted to write about it - because writing is how I process pretty much everything. As a creator, it can be terrifying to put your work out into the world. There are trolls everywhere and they tend to think that they're freedom of speech gives them the freedom to hurt others with their words. You know the people I'm talking about...
I have two points I want to make in writing what I'm writing, if for no other reason than a note to myself. I'm about to take the biggest leap I ever have in my creative life - publish my first novel and put it "out there."
My first thought it this: If you are too sensitive to share your work because of what people might think, maybe you aren't ready to share your work. This thought has popped into my mind for years. Though it can be so frustrating to feel closeted as an artist this is a defense mechanism and it can actually serve you well. I can't imagine getting ridiculed in my early twenties when I first started writing seriously. I had a few commenters whose words stung but nothing too crazy. If my work had been picked apart early on in the game it would have halted my drive to do it. Thank goodness that I listened to that voice and waited. That being said - I kept writing. If even in secret, I had to keep doing what made me happy and filled my life with a purpose only creating something out of nothing can give. Also, let's not forget that it is our sensitivity that makes art great. I'll admit that I cry when I write, I laugh when I write, and I get angry because I'm living what my characters are living; I'm feeling what I want the poetry or prose to evoke.
The second thing I want to do is to encourage us all to step out of that box of worrying about what other people think. This art that you have created is for you and you alone. Yes, you may have started it with a different purpose in mind but don't forget that you have been the driving force behind it. Even if your create a perfect masterpiece, all art is subjective. Get it to where you want it and release it for the rest of the world so that you can go and make more art!!! That's the beauty of it. I don't claim to be a scholar of the arts, well-versed in all of my favorites poets and writers, but I do know something from years of experience. If you want to live an artistic lifestyle you do it. This is your life and you need to drive the ship. No one can have your experience, so no one else should get to control the experience that you have.