I've been thinking about and reading more about the process of creating art, specifically writing. I have been taking baby steps in terms of sharing my writing with others. I've had mostly positive feedback on my blog posts, but I'm contemplating more. Another blogger spoke of signing up for creative writing classes. I feel that is the next step, but the fear of having my writing critiqued has paralyzed me into non-action.
There is such a vulnerability when you allow someone else to see your work. I think of the risk involved; the ultimate fear that despite your longing to express yourself in some creative form, you are not as good as you believe.
We often write in a vacuum. Even with a blog, it's easy to get caught up in your own sense of power and influence. And it is doubly hard to step back and see your work with a critical eye.
Of course, it's imperative that we learn to do so, in order to craft a better story. It's also important to take constructive criticism and learn from it. It is a tricky thing balance, learning to edit and take the advice of others about your writing. Learning what to pare down without whittling away your own unique voice in the process.
I watched my daughter grow through this process as she has progressed as an artist. Each year, the art department chooses student's pieces for the annual arts showcase. This year my daughter had two paintings chosen. She had one praised for its color and style and another painting labeled "cartoonish" by a teacher. She told my daughter that she needed to rework the piece. The teacher's suggestions would completely change the painting.
My daughter balked at the editorial critique and defended her work. In the end, the teacher decided her arguments were valid, and the painting was not changed.
I admired my daughter's determination not to change her "voice." The piece was a reflection of her perspective, and although some minor revisions were valid, she did not waver in her conviction that her painting stood on its own merits.
So, am I ready to do the same?
Am I ready to listen to constructive criticism? And more importantly, am I ready to assert my own voice?
Causes Annette Talbert Supports
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, RIF (Reading is Fundamental),
Hands On Foundation, Dignity U Wear, Girls, Inc.