One of the hardest things I ever had to do was let go. Let me explain:
Last night I caught up with Annie, who has been around but very unavailable for the most part. You know, that real life thing, it’s a pain in the ass sometimes, and at times it’s worse for some than others.
But we were back on the air together–Again, for the First Time!–and we talked about role playing, and writing, and all around things like that. While we were talking, by the way, I was pulling down old posts we’d made for our characters from another role playing board–run by some notorious psycho bitch who some would call Jill–and I wasn’t paying attention to little things like when those post were made, because I was chatting with Annie and doing a lot of formatting to take the stuff I was clipping from an internet board and put it in Scrivener so it was readable.
So in the middle of our conversation, I decided to sneak a peek at when the post I was clipping was made, and I was totally shocked. ”Holy shit,” I said, “this thread was created April 1 last year. We were in the owlery a year ago.”
The Trip to the Owlery was an important milestone for these crazy kids, for that was the first time shy, reserved, somewhat unemotional, and totally clueless to the ways of women Kerry gave Annie a very simple, single, kiss on her cheek. And what was the end result? Annie swooned, and went right off her heels and onto her back into the straw and owl poop.
Yeah, I know how to win them over, don’t I?
I mentioned just the other day that Annie was very responsible for getting me to write, to bring me to this point where I am the writer I am today, so I feel a connection to her. Which is why when she mentioned that she was ready to write again, but she was also a little scared because . . . to put it bluntly, it would mean “putting herself out there” again, and she was a little scared that she couldn’t.
I know that feeling very well. You have things you want to say. You have things you want to put on paper or screen or even scribbles in the mud if that’s what you liked to do–and you have the feeling that the moment you start putting those words down, and you read them, and you see where you are going . . . you get this sensation in the pit of your heart that feels like rats are trying to chew their way into your left ventricular.
Do I know this feeling well.
Writers deal in words, but they also deal in emotions. As with any artistic endeavor, you are often tearing out itty bitty chunks of your soul and arranging them in a way that will make sense to others. And the fear you have is that, after all that hard work, some mouth breaking cretin is going to come along, look at the results of self-mastication, and say, “LOL, u r so stupid! This story suckz!”
You see some shit like that, and you want to jam your head through the flats screen where you gave birth to that story. It forces you to reevaluate what you’ve done, and it’s going to leave you very gun shy when the time comes to do your next story.
If you ever get to that point again.
I’ve done the Woody Allen thing, where I was of the opinion that everything I’ve done is total crap, and there’s maybe one of two things I’ve done that are okay. Yeah, I’m crazy–but I’m not that crazy, not anymore. I’ve let people read my work, and some of them have actually been crazy enough to pay me for it! I’ve gotten feedback, and the majority of it is good if not great. I’m not one for believing my own hype, but I have come to the conclusion that while I might not write as well as the greatest, I can write. And it’s something that, in its own way, is good.
You get there by letting go, and not in a Venus and Mars sort of way. You open up and you, as dangerous as it might be, you put your heart on the page. I did that with Transporting. There were things I had to write that, from an emotional standpoint, I could not write, I could not face. Annie helped me understand how to open up, and I was able to finish that novel.
So, Annie, when you read this–and I know you will, because I’ll be linking it to you–don’t be afraid to go there again. Don’t be afraid to let go and put it right out there on the line.
Because if you fall–
Kerry will be there to catch you before you hit the owl poop.