conversation, courage, and cummings

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”

e. e. cummings

These past couple of days have been strange for me. I’ve had a couple of conversations on the topic of creating something and proudly standing by that creation. And last night I had a conversation with a friend and we discussed what we would be proud/brave enough to sign and send out to the world under our own name. We mentioned art and opinion, we talked about the impact a person’s creation has on the world around it. And we also mentioned the powerlessness the author feels once their creation leaves them. It was a fun conversation fueled by alcohol and almost unbearable heat of the night. But the thoughts stayed with me once I woke up today.

I work as a teacher and a part time lecturer, and I stand behind what I teach in my lessons. I stand behind the advice I give my students. Similar to this, when it comes to my calligraphy and other visual arts and when it comes to my opinions (presented mostly on this site), I am happy to sign it and show it to the world – this was created by Lukrecija Prcela.

But when it comes to my fiction, that is where the fear of others emerges. I have been writing fiction for 5 years now, and not many people have read it. I have a couple of stories up on different sites, but they are all under pseudonyms. There are also a couple of chosen people in my life who have read some of my stories. Their response was positive, both in their constructive criticism and in their insistence that I keep on writing. But, what they had read was perhaps some 5% of the things I have written in my notebooks.

There are two reasons for this:

1) I am fearful of typing up the stories and editing them; fearful that I might think them soooo soooo bad that I give up and I need my writing. This way they exist as Schrodinger’s stories, neither bad nor good;

and 2)  which is even scarier – I am not brave enough to bare my soul (which would be the case with many of my stories) even to my closest friends. The same thoughts always run through my brain – what if they thing I’m weird, what if their opinion of me changes because of the elements of me that are presented in the stories. I always feel so exposed when someone reads my stories. It is like I’m giving them and insight to the most hidden parts of me. And that is scary.

Now, most of my stories, who am I kidding, all of my stories are stories in which I deal with my emotional issues, with my fears, my feelings and hopes. I use the people around me and situations I’ve found myself in to create a new reality in which I am someone better, someone more brave. They all deal with love, with friendships and lovers…

And what if people recognize themselves?

one day I might become brave

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