I love reading blogs--I love seeing what all of you create with your fabrics and thread, your words and imaginations, your various mediums. Enjoying the beauty you all have created, however, implicates me a little. I don't share as much as I should.
Want to know why?
I'm afraid to.
No, really. I have awful stage fright. This would probably surprise most people who know me well--I don't exude the qualities of shyness most people associate with stage fright. I'm not afraid to speak my mind, I pipe up in board meetings, and I've never sweated giving a PowerPoint presentation to a class or a business meeting. But anything creative? Anything solely mine, created by me? I clam up.
I finally figured this out when I took piano in college. I considered my education lacking that I hadn't had piano (say that in the sort of voice you'd imagine from a Jane Austen character), and so took a couple semesters. I don't mean to sound boastful that I say I was always among the best in the class in terms of performance ability and music theory comprehension--really not trying to boast, it just aids in understanding what I'll say next. Because despite being quite competent in playing all my pieces, doing so in front of the class terrified me. I won't say I was anxious, or felt some trepidation--no, constricting, trembling fear is more like it.
Now, the moral of that story is that I overcame it. I pushed myself out of my comfortable bubble, took a few deep breaths, and forced myself to start playing. And a couple bars in, the music became more important than my fears.
Yet, I've noticed as well that I don't challenge myself anymore. My reenacting friends sing--a lot. At night, the instruments come out and we spend hours singing as a group and performing for one another. I'm perfectly happy singing along in large groups. Never, ever solos. Rarely duets or trios--and those terrify me enough that a liberal dose of scotch is required beforehand. I don't have a perfect voice, but respectable, even, dare I say it, a bit pretty and adequately trained--yet if I feel I can be heard, distinctly my voice by itself or among a few, I don't sing. Pretty effective metaphor--I silence myself out of fear.
I share only what makes me comfortable--not in an internet safety way, but in an emotional way. I don't post excerpts of my writing--because I think more than anything I fear being judged. Better to put nothing out there, right, than to put something out there and have it dismissed--or ignored?
No, not really. You don't grow if you don't challenge yourself--and getting over my fear of sharing my creative endeavors is a challenge I need to face. Getting over my fear of sharing my mistakes, my foibles, ultimately, my proud moments. Why? For one, if I want to be a published writer, I have to be willing to stand proudly with my work--not hide behind it. For another, in a puritanical "hardship strengthens us" sort of way, it's good for me.
So--I'm challenging myself. Every fortnight--roughly--I'll post something that makes me nervous to share. Perhaps a piece of flash fiction, perhaps a sewing project gone awry.
I will not be posting vlogs of me singing, though. Just fair warning. Not happening.
How about you? Are you afraid to share what you've created? Or does sharing come as a natural extension of the process for you? Any great overcoming stage fright stories to share?