Putting Yourself Out There

Yesterday I shared with everyone part one of my six-part fiction series The Trusting. I've written, edited, and revised this story for weeks now, and after the countless hours spent working on it, there wasn't anything left to change. Well, onto the blog it went, as promised, and I made announcements across the Internet so the world would know I checked into work at Writerville for the day.

Then I promptly closed my email, blogger, social media websites, and I left the house. I couldn't take the waiting while I knew others were reading my work. I wanted to know what people thought, but couldn't handle staring at the screen in silence. The waiting period is an aspect author C. Hope Clark just recently blogged about, and I couldn't agree with her more.

Yes, it can be terrifying to share something so close to your heart, whether it's the project you've been working on, a piece of artwork, a fashion design, a novel, even a new recipe. Yet, you can't let that fearful moment between, "here, I made this," and "what do you think?" stop you from creating or sharing.

That's why it's so important to be brave enough to put yourself out there.

It's a strange feeling to be confident about your abilities and sense of how your craft is done, and then feel totally insecure in sharing your work, but that, in a cliched nutshell, is what life is like for writers and other artists. It's part of our makeup--we've amassed tons of knowledge and trained ourselves toward our ability to produce, and yet we still feel shy to share the product.

You can't be afraid to put yourself out there.

Putting yourself out there in no way means you don't fear anyone's opinion, don't care what others think, or you'll act smug like there's no way others wouldn't like what you've done.

Putting yourself out there means you're willing to sacrifice yourself to the Gods (figuratively) for your craft, and you believe your creation is more valuable when shared than if left mute inside you.

As terrifying as it seems, the good news is that often when you do put yourself out there, like a naughty witch on a broom, those around you will embrace your work and uplift you out of the fear. Yeah, some people like to bash, it's how they get by. They belittle so they feel bigger. (Insert anything else your mother said to make you feel better, here.)

But most of the time, and I say this from experience, even the naysayers who didn't support your choices/ideas/projects, will turn around and applaud you when the work is done. Some will even want to take credit for helping you.

And, if you remember nothing else, remember this: the added bonus in putting yourself out there is that afterward others will have to place you in a different mental category box. They'll go back in their own minds and relabel you from "wanna-be" to "be."

Putting yourself out there can be one of the biggest, more rewarding gifts you'll ever give yourself. Like in exercise, when done regularly, you'll build a stronger core. You as a person, will become the solid ground you can rely on, and you'll trust your own judgement more and more each time.

1 comment:

  1. This is so true. It is so hard to put yourself out there sometimes. I definitely get shy too when I'm about to post an acting clip or share a blog post. But I have come to understand that allowing yourself to be vulnerable is one of the most beautiful things about being an artist and is necessary in order to be successful. Reminding myself of that always helps give me a little extra strength to share my work.

    Great post Margaret!!