A few weeks ago, I was out for a run with the dogs. Half way through the run, I tripped and fell flat on my stomach. Thankfully, neither I nor my dogs, nor my phone (which was in my pocket and the first thing I checked) was hurt. Of course the kind (in my mind by now he is actually very hot) man who watched the whole thing stopped jogging and asked if I was ok. These things so rarely happen without a witness.
Although I left my pride and some elbow skin right there on the sidewalk, at least, I told myself, I entertained the nice sweaty man. He probably howled with laughter all the way home. And remarkably, I didn’t feel quite as embarrassed as I used to feel when things like this happened.
I have been reading lately about productivity and motivation and all of that stuff. Every time I ask myself what my passion is, what I really want to be when I grow up (the impending fortieth birthday tends to bring on attacks of introspective cafard), I always come back to writing. I love to write. I don’t suppose I am terribly good at it, but it’s so much fun. And satisfying. And the few people who do read my stuff seem to feel like it’s worth spending a little time on.
The problem is that it’s really hard to put yourself out there and show people what you can do. I did a reading recently after taking a creative writing course, and I was more nervous about that than about any work presentation or job interview I have ever done. With work stuff, you always have things not-your-own to fall back on. When it’s your own original writing, it feels more like walking down the street naked.
So I guess I need to get past that. When speaking to a wise writer recently, I mentioned that I don’t think my skin is thick enough to withstand the critics. He told me “oh, you just get used to it”. I need to get over the idea that people might not like my work. Or worse, that they’d make fun of it. If I’m being realistic about it, most people probably don’t really care much. If I break it down, I know I can’t convince the ones who dislike me or my work, and that’s really ok.
I suppose if I think about it, I have been practicing this for years on a small, safe scale (I have had some terrible hair cuts!), but never very publicly or with very high stakes.
So having said that, I am pleased to announce my new blog, Face, Meet Sidewalk. It will be where I post pieces of fictional writing I have done. I will still keep this one going, at least as occasionally as ever, for expressing my opinions on the things that roll through my little brain. But I will use Sidewalk as an outlet for my more… creative writing. I won’t promise to be any more consistent than I am with this one, but I’ll try. I have so much fun writing. I hope people like it, but even if they don’t, I will probably keep at it anyway.