Sometimes the monster tapping on the window is our imagination, and sometimes it really is what it seems to be—a snarly monster. There’s no way in life to get around Monsters, unless you hide in bed, live in a glass bubble, never take chances, or lead a very charmed (and unnatural?) life.
I think about my fears, and how those fears have held me back from things in the past. How I let my writing languish for years and years—it wasn’t until my forties that I began writing seriously again; my first novel wasn’t published until I was 52. I’m less likely to hide from the monster tapping at my window now, and I don’t know if that’s come with my age, or things that have happened (or not happened) in my life, or all of those things.
That fear-monster can tap tap tap at my window, and I can cower under my bedcovers, or I can rise, open the window, and face it head on—sometimes in facing the monster it runs away, a big silly bully. Other times, the fear-monster roars at me, its sour breath rushing up against me, repelling me. And then there are the times I open that window and what seemed huge and scary was nothing more than a branch against the window after all.
As a writer, I struggle with putting myself out there for all of you to see. When you read my novel(s) or stories or essays, or even my blog posts, you are allowed a glimpse into something deep inside me, even in my fiction there are hidden truths that reveal who I am, my experiences, my guts on a plate. How vulnerable it is to be a writer and have your words out into the winds, scattered here there and yonder, to have people judge them and thus judge you. But despite all that, I do it again, and again, and again. I send out my words and hope for the best. I open the window and face the monster every time I write something and then send it out into the big wide old world. I can and I will be rejected–it’s all a part of it and I have to accept that or else the altnative is to hide myself and my words away.
If we write (or do anything else) in a vacuum, we are not Living, we are only Being. We are not Experiencing life, but letting it pass us by as we watch, peeking out from beneath our covers. Sometimes taking risks or chances or facing our fears leads to bad things; well, I’m up for taking the chance anyway, because sometimes it does not, or the “bad thing” leads me on another “good thing.”
I know with each novel or story I write I set myself up for someone somewhere to dislike my words or hate who I am or scoff at my writing or think I could do better or wish I’d have written something else or it’s not for them or fill in the negative blanks; however, I am who I am; I am who I write, I write who I am—and, in the midst of it all, there are the letters, emails, phone calls, comments that make me blink with surprise and delight—to touch another human being with your words is, simply said, one of the greatest feelings ever, a joy, a measure of success, a beautiful light of trust. I write for You, I write for Me, I write for no one and everyone, and every day I open the window and face the monster scratching at my window—I never know which monster will face me, or if it is only that little twig that sways in the wind, but I hold my breath, lift the window, lean forward, and wait for what will come.
Ashley from Metairie, Louisiana won the Community Coffee Give Away . . . Congrats, Ashley! Community Coffee will speed your gift on to you.
Jay from Bite & Booze was so so very close, that I told him I’d send him something myself, so, Jay – I’ll have you something (coffee and something from my mountain cove) soon.
Thank you everyone – this was fun!