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Coming Out as a Writer
Closet Writer publicly Exposes Secret Aspiration
I wrote an article, Writing for Fear and Money on the Web, published on Bzirkworld.com. The article reveals the ongoing struggle to justify exactly why I continue to write, even without a sustainable income from my work. I suspect the fear and loathing I constantly battle is not uncommon for aspiring writers.
The Fear of Going Public
Perhaps every artist wrestles with an immobilizing terror before a public debut of their work.
Whether it's a drawing, photo, a dramatic film, creative prose, or even a methodically prepared pastry for the county fair pie contest, the finished product is deeply personal. Presenting it for public consumption is comparable to standing on an empty stage - completely naked, warts and all.
Some of the greatest artists ever known flourish in relative anonymity, only gaining fame after their deaths, when they can no longer hide the creative genius that dominated and influenced their lives.
My artistic aspirations do not include posthumous fame. I want to share my work now, even if to a small and receptive audience. I’d like to write. I’d like it better if a few readers enjoy and even seek out my work. Besides mom, I mean.
Does HP Really Work?
- 200 Published Works (if I can, so can you)
This is the 200th work I have published online. I never dreamed I would have written this many poems, stories and essays but once you start writing it becomes addictive. If I can do it, anyone can.
HubPages To The Rescue!
Finding Hubpages was and continues to be an inspiration for me. The structured environment of capsules in crafting a public display of my writing has forced me to practice the basic elements of writing for an audience.
Although I don't use Hubpages to publish works of prose, I don't exactly think of myself as a blog writer either. Hubpages provides an outlet for me to practice writing outside my comfort zone. I am grateful for the opportunity to have public exposure and a kind of mentoring environment with other writers.
I am always researching various online resources for inspiration and tutorials about writing. The following, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Writing Center, recommends asking yourself the following questions as you plan a writing assignment:
- Who is your audience?
- Might you have more than one audience? If so, how many audiences do you have? List them.
- Does your assignment itself give any clues about your audience?
- What does your audience need? What do they want? What do they value?
- What is most important to them?
- What are they least likely to care about?
- What kind of organization would best help your audience understand and appreciate your?
- What do you have to say (or what are you doing in your research) that might surprise your audience?
- What do you want your audience to think, learn, or assume about you? What impression do you want your writing or your research to convey?
How did you find Hubpages?
Funding the Dream
A successful agency has allowed me the freedom and flexibility to be available to my family when they need me and the financial ability to pretty much come and go as I please. I’ve never been wealthy, that’s for sure, but I’ve worked hard to build an agency which provides me a sufficient income, and then some. The money is adequate but the work never quite satisfies. More often than not, it is just a means to an end. No matter how successful the agency is, it fails to stave off the frightening void that opens wider and darker as I witness my life at the half-way mark. insurance
I never had concrete plans about what I wanted to be when I grew up because I already knew. There was always an unspoken and foregone conclusion that I would eventually write. I know with certainty that working within the confines of somebody else's business model, revenue goals, or best practices doesn't work for me. I have my own ideas.
So, here I am, all grown up and empty-nested, grand kids galore and a new(er) virtual agency to supplement my writing career. Wait, what? Writing career? Yes. I’ve done it. I’ve launched it. I’m doing it.
I’m a writer. There, I’ve said it.
It’s been a long time coming and I am immobilized with the possibilities. The dread, the fear, a writer’s block, not so much based on lack of creativity but indecision, has me hopping around the house like a cocaine addict. What do I write first? My memoirs? My novel? A who-done-it? Do I blog? Do I op-ed? What the hell? Should I write in my office or in my kitchen? Use a pen or a keyboard? Write early in the day or late at night? Take a class? Read a writer’s forum? In the meantime, who is paying the bills around here?
I'm Naked Out Here
I’m not complaining. I’ve gone and done it (again) and I’m happy. Desperately short on income, but happy. My faithful (but increasingly impatient) husband works long hours to support us. He tolerates the fleeting and obviously bashful and delicate artist that I have been trying to unearth and control in myself for 40 some years. But, he isn't crazy about her. In fact, he has never really taken the time to know her. Even if he did, he'd just roll his eyes and shake his head. He's a farmer. 'Nuff said.
So, this is my journey. Blogging about it seems as good a start as any, although, the very thought of exposing my work, my delicate creative ego, in public, is terrifying. Feels a bit naked and truthfully I’m not in great shape. Not good enough to be all naked in public anyway. But, I’m working out, as it were. I’m writing. I’m committing to it. Be gentle. It’s my first time. In public, that is.
© 2013 bzirkone