The thing about working in a creative field is that you constantly feel really exposed. It's unavoidable. Because you put so much of your heart and passion into your work. The job of an artist is to provoke emotion. You start with an idea. Alone in your own private fantasy world. You foster and mold it. Not only do you love what you do, but you need to do it. Because it's feeding your soul. Until your idea takes on a life of it's own. And then it's time to put it out there into the world. Which is nothing short of terrifying. Because that's when you lose all control over your creation. Your art is open to interpretation and misinterpretation. You're vulnerable.
Before my first book came out, I thought I felt vulnerable because I'd written a memoir. Which meant that if you didn't like the main character of my book, you don't like me. Ultimately, that was a chance I was willing to take. But, what kind of narcissistic asshole writes a memoir anyway? I know this is going to sound completely ridiculous for someone who's on 3 social media platforms with a blog and book, but I'm a very private and guarded person in real life. Opening myself up doesn't come naturally to me. But, it does come with benefits. Over the years, because I've put myself out there, I've had the good fortune to meet some incredible people through my writing. And I'm always worried I'm going to disappoint them. After all, I'm not funny all the time. In fact, for the most part, I'm not very funny at all. What I am is heartfelt and empathetic. But, I'd much rather you think that I'm funny and intelligent.
Now that I'm near completion of my second book (which is my first attempt at writing a novel), I'm scared. Because what the hell do I know about writing fiction? I spent years avoiding sitting down to write it out of fear. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of mediocrity. Fear of judgment. I feel as vulnerable as the first time. Maybe even more so. Even though I've had two amazing friends help me edit and proofread it who really liked it. Which is so great to hear. But, I still feel really vulnerable. Because there's a darkness to this book. It gritty and raw. Not everyone's going to like it. And if everyone did, I wouldn't have done my job writing it. Because I wouldn't be saying anything worth saying if everyone did. That's the nature of art.
Being courageous enough to be vulnerable is it's own art form.