This is why so many people don't finish their half-written novel or bring their poetry or painting or photograph into public view, because it matters.
Art in any form is a reflection of the artist. My writing is very personal. When I wrote "Burnouts, Geeks and Jesus Freaks: a love story" I really wasn't sure if I wanted to ever show it to more than a handful of friends who would recognize some of the scenes and enjoy the characters. I can't begin to tell you how nervous I was when I mailed each of them a copy. I knew I loved it, but creative people always tend to love their work. We're a little biased toward the words or images that speak from our souls. As each reader contacted me and let me know that they really loved it too, I got this incredible rush, a feeling of super connection to them. As colossally scary as the idea was, I knew I wanted to try to get that connection with more people.
My favorite life-guru, Danielle LaPorte, is celebrating that her first solo book, "The Fire Starter Sessions" is now available in paperback. In her amazingly eloquent way she summed up how authors and artists feel about the first creation they bring to the public eye: "I love that book like you love your first love. It was all sweat and fumbling and firsts and I'm grateful for everything that keeps coming of it."
I'm still fumbling along with my first love. Some days are so full of elation I want to turn cartwheels on the front lawn. When I got two more great reviews on Amazon this past weekend I desperately wanted to go and hug the readers that posted them. And just like first love, there are scary days too, although most of them are more scary scenarios I have built up in my head than reality. Either way it is a rush, an addictive one.
I'm starting on the sequel, "Popstars, Friends and Lovers" this week. I've done some research, but it is time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). It is so tempting to hold back, to go with safe scenes, to give the readers what I think they want. But the same muse, the voice from inside that pushed me to finish my first novel keeps screaming NO. I have to write what is real, what is scary to say, what matters.
Labels: artist, creativity, Danielle LaPorte