I often think writing is a kind of coming out; we are always revealed in what we write, whether we are aware of it or not.
Simply setting pen to paper is a self-revealing act, which may make us aware of thoughts and feelings moving through us that we were not aware of before. Certain themes that recur time and again, certain characters and patterns of relationship.
Telling other people that you write is another stage in the coming out. I’ve had participants at workshops who have written whole novels and never told a soul, not even their nearest and dearest.
Sharing writing with friends or family pushes this coming out as a writer a little further, but reading to strangers in a workshop situation is another whole layer of boldness.
So how wonderful is it for me to hear from a workshop participant that she’s plucked up the courage to press send on a travel article, and again on a competition piece?
Her article, she tells me, has been accepted for a travel website with a membership of 40,000; her story will be published in an anthology of competition winners.
But as she says in her emails, it isn’t about payment or recognition – though that would be nice, of course. The real buzz is having had the courage to be heard.
I had a crisis point in my coming out as a writer. You can read about it here.
What about you? Have you come out as a writer? How hard was it for you?
8 thoughts on “On daring to be heard”
Coincidentally, I just blogged on an aspect of this. Telling people also brings unnecessary pressures at times
Can you give us a link to your blog post, Anne?
Not pressure but additional expectations from others that can be hard to fulfil
I couldn’t agree more, Jenny. The first time I sat in on one of your workshops and read out a piece I had written on the night, I was struck first by the prickly anticipation of wondering what the reaction would be from you and the other writers and secondly, the elation from everyone’s positive comments. This initial experience and the ones at your subsequent workshops/courses gave me such confidence that I have been able to write short stories and articles for publication and a memoir, putting my heart on the page.
Would you like to give us a link to your memoir too, Julie. I know it’s actually publication week!
https://annephillipsdotorg.wordpress.com/2017/09/08/which-is-about-writing/ Got it! Thank-you. What a lovely post 🙂