One of the hardest things about writing–at least for this girl–is the fear. I mean, there’s a lot to be afraid of! The anxiety-googler in my head brings up with dozens of tremble-worthy hits at the mere thought of putting words out there for public consumption. There’s the fear of making a mistake, of being criticized, of sounding stupid, people not “getting” it. I could go on and on. But ultimately, what it comes down to is this: the fear of just not being good enough. And if I let it, that fear will get in my way. It will halt everything the way death halts life, swallowing creativity like a drowning swimmer swallows water.
I know there are a lot of writers out there who don’t understand the fear. “But it’s so fun!” they say, “So freeing!” I cannot disagree. Especially since I’ve taught, critiqued, encouraged, and edited a bunch of those unafraid souls. I’ve also envied, been mystified by, and struggled to understand them. I’ve wanted so much to be like them. But what I’ve realized is this: I can’t. I can only be like me.
And I happen to be scared.
But I’m also completely, maybe even ludicrously, in love with the written word and its transformative powers. Long works, short ones, stories-in-a-sentence. Even the blurbs on the backs of Kleenex boxes have my affection. Except when illiterate or ill, I have always read, always written. And somehow, by a miracle of luck or maybe even karma come a-calling, over the course of the next few months, you’ll be hearing a lot from me. In addition to creating a project that biographs random residents of our fair city (more about that as we go), and hanging out at the Arts Council’s creative space, I’ll also be writing this blog.
I can’t tell you what you should expect to find when you come here each week. Book reviews, my own in-progress samples, rants, and bits of inspiration are not out of the question. Since I used to teach writing, I might even publish portions of a lesson or two. But I can’t promise you any of that. What I can promise you is this: Whatever I bring to this space, I will do what I can to engage us all with the best I have. Even if I drink a little Lake Michigan in the process.
Please join me, both in reading and responding. I’d love to see your thoughts in the comments, on the RAC Facebook page, or via email to WriterInResidence@RacineArtsCouncil. The more the merrier.
See you next week!