All laid bare

So, my daughter wrote a great story about her Brownie camp. The leader asked if she would read it out at the prize-giving ceremony tonight and she said no. I asked her why not. “I just don’t want to” was her reply. As I thought about the sheer terror of sharing my own work with others, I understood. To show someone else or, worse still, a publisher what you have spent hours, days and months writing is like handing over your very soul for them to dissect. These blogs are safe, because they’re mere snippets of who I am. A book, however, is too risky.

But. What’s that saying, ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’? If every author kept their work secret, we’d have no books. I know there are many who don’t share my timidity, so hats off to them. I did try to follow the traditional publishing route, but three months of countless ‘no’s ensured it would be a long while before I put my head above the parapet again. My latest effort, Walking in the Sun’ will remain safely in the hands of my husband as we publish it ourselves.

In other circumstances, life doesn’t give us the chance to hide. Physically speaking, I often need to use a stick when walking, and frequently need to sit down.

The only hiding place I have then is a smile.

When I reach home after walking the dog, I close the gate and lean against it with a feeling of relief. No-one is watching now.

This vulnerability is tougher because the majority do not share it so can’t really understand, through no fault of their own.

Putting it all out there is terrifying, but we just have to do it; the dog needs walked, my daughter needs to see me sharing my work with the world, I need to come face to face with those watching me or reading my work and discover acceptance, human kindness, recognition.

You never know, when it’s all over, there might even be clothes.

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