Thursday, December 24, 2009

On Fear and Baring Your Soul

You know the blog posts that just absolutely resonate with you? The ones you read and then go back the next day to read again. The ones you bookmark so that you can go back to them a third (and then fourth, fifth, sixth, etc) time when you need motivation?  Yeah, well that happened to me recently, on Valerie's blog I Should Be Writing.

And what's even better? I don't need to summarize what she wrote and how it made me feel... Because she's graciously allowed me to repost her exact words! So read on and allow the message to take root in your soul, the way it did in mine!

On Fear and Baring Your Soul

I once had a voice teacher in college (Voice for non-music majors, I should add) who told us on the first day that we would be doing lots of solo singing and it was okay if we were scared because singing for a room full of people was like taking off your clothes and standing naked before them while they judge you. At first I was like, huh? But then he explained that our voice, and the instrument we use to sing is inside our body. It's hidden where nobody can see. You can't look at a person and know whether or not they're a good singer. So the act of singing is taking out that hidden part and putting it on display for everyone.

I think writing is the same way. Until you put words to paper and show it to someone, no one knows what's really inside you. Writing reveals things even you didn't know about yourself. What moves you. What you think is beautiful or scary. What breaks your heart. You're showing people how you see the world and then hoping that even if they don't see it the same way, they will at least get what you're trying to say and love it anyway. That's scary.

It's also really brave. I've always thought that in general, art is courage. Even when an idea burns inside you to get out, actually bringing it to life and sharing it with others takes courage. The truly amazing paintings, music, and books, the ones that changed or made history are the ones where the creator took a risk, followed their gut, and then showed it to the world.

I think to those of us who are unpublished and plugging away this is important to remember. It's supposed to be a little bit scary. You're sharing a hidden part of yourself. You're supposed to wonder if what's true for you will translate and resonate with other people. If you're writing, and every single word you put down has you thinking "They're gonna love this! This is exactly what people want!" Then maybe, (just maybe, because hey, you might be a writing genius) you're not reaching deep enough inside yourself to the things that make you uniquely you. You don't want to do what's already been done. You need to stand out, and that means swallowing your fear (and your pride) and showing all of you, even the hidden parts.
Thanks so much, Valerie, for allowing me to share your words with my readers!  (A quick note to my readers - Valerie's posts are always fun to read, so if you haven't already stumbled upon her blog I suggest you do so now!)
The original post can be found here!

One more note - I'm out of town for the holidays and my posts are being published on a preset time schedule, so if I don't respond to comments, I promise I will when I get home on Sunday! Happy Holidays everyone!
♥ me


  1. Thanks, Sara. You're right - it's a great post.

    Enjoy your time out of town and be safe. :)

  2. Excellent post...I'm going to check her out now. Thanks, Sara, and Merry Christmas!

  3. Thanks for sharing that. Have a great holiday!

  4. I want to put my comments on an automated timer too!
    December 24, 2009 9:55 AM
    Great Post! I loved this!

    December 24, 2009 6:21 PM
    I agree with everyone! Good job!

    December 25, 2009 8:11 AM
    Merry Xmas to all, and to all, a good write!

    :) Kewl post. I will check her out.

  5. What a great post! So true. It took me just about forever to decide to share some of my writing with some people who turned out to be amazing crit buddies. Turned out to be one of the best decisions I've ever made.

  6. That was a beautiful post. I loved it. Thank you for sharing, that is so motivational... I'm totally her newest follower as soon as I hit post.

    Merry Christmas, Sara!

  7. That really is a great post and rings so true. As an unpublished author - I find myself even questioning if I should call myself a writer. I am plagued with self-doubt on a daily basis and worry that if/when I ever get to the point of agent/publisher submissions I will meet with failure. Nobody likes to fail. This is a great post to remind me why it's ok to feel scared about my writing being put out there, but not to stop doing it!

    Happy Holidays!

  8. Thanks for sharing this post. It is so true! I am scared to death when it come to writing which is one reason that only a select few know about it and my dream to become a published author. What if they laugh, what if my writing really is horrible and I fail miserably? This was post was a great reminder that it's ok. Thanks! Have a Merry Christmas!

  9. I feel the exact same way. Even though my crit partners have told me my book is good (despite the flaws), I still panic a little every time I open a critique from them. Thanks for sharing this!

  10. Happy Holidays!!! Be safe and enjoy yourself!

  11. That was a great post and spot-on. Have a Merry Christmas!

  12. This post was amazing. Going to check out the original one now. Thanks for the link!


Yay! I love when you have things to add :)