Writers are a self-reliant lot. We have to be.
We think, plan, craft and write in isolation. And even when we get guidance from an editor or read ‘n critique group it’s still our final decision, made in isolation, as how (or if) we will follow that advice. And writers aren’t alone, most artists and musicians share this trait.
That’s why it’s so important to share our creative passions with others.
For some of us, sharing the fruits of our labors is the most difficult task before us. After putting months or years into a piece of work, we find it absolutely terrifying to finally, at long last, send it out into the world. Will it be praised? Will others embrace it? Or will it be ridiculed? Will the feedback devastate us?
But if we don’t take that step, we are doing a disservice to ourselves.
I know it’s scary, heart-wrenching even. Our ego could be crushed. But we have a talent for a reason and we should share it. Even if the world isn’t yet ready for us. I believe a little part of our soul dies when we don’t allow our creative passions to be released out into the world. If we let fear rule and never take a chance to share our work with others what might the world miss? I think often of Vincent Van Gogh—without a doubt one of my favorite artists. Although he never found acceptance for his work during his lifetime he never stopped painting! And oh what the world would be missing today if he hadn’t kept sharing his creative passion!
I recently took one of those scary first steps.
I’ve loved writing Haiku poems since that first high school assignment. I enjoyed it so much that friends gave me Haiku books for graduation. But until a year ago, I hadn’t ever shared my poems with the world, which sounds crazy considering I’ve written whole novels and had them submitted to New York. But my poems are different from my fiction. They are little bits of my heart and soul. They are extremely personal.
Here’s how I did it.
I took my own advice and started with baby steps. I started out by posting other people’s Haiku poems on my Facebook page. And people liked them, started following my once-a-week posts. Once I saw that there was a genuine interest, I started sharing my own Haiku poems. And I was delighted to find that readers enjoyed them. My poems are often inspired from photos I’ve taken, so I began to add the photos along with the poems. Now, a year later, I create a poster of the photo and the Haiku laid over it. It’s been a process and one that has been supported by many of my Facebook friends. Readers began to encourage me to publish them or submit them to be published.
A few months ago I found the courage to submit one poem to a lovely nature journal called The Avocet. The editor encouraged me to send in more and he began to feature some of them in his weekly online issues. And today I can say that four of my poems have been accepted and will be published and printed in the Winter Avocet for this quarter. I’m thrilled beyond words!
But none of this would have happened if I hadn’t taken a chance.
Yes—I had much encouragement and support from others. But they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to support my creative passion if I hadn’t faced my fear and gotten my poems out there in front of the readers in the first place. And of course you must make sure you are putting forth your very best work! But once you’ve put in the time and learned your craft, please don’t let fear rule your world. Share your creative passions with others. Take a Chance!
UPDATE for October 2020: Since writing this article in 2015, I’ve since had my haiku poems published in numerous publications, a short story published in an anthology and I published four full novels, two of which have both received awards.
But you have to take that first step. Go for it!