I’ve had several conversations in the past few days about my fears. I’ve been talking with anyone who will listen, so it’s obviously something I need to talk about here.
When I share the glimpses of my true self, when I peel back the layers of the public mask and let you glimpse inside my head, it is terrifying. I’ve told friends before that even mundane posts – if they reveal something important to me – will make me writhe in terror for a few hours after the post has gone live.
Don’t hate me…. Don’t reject me…. Don’t get angry with me…. Don’t fear me…. Don’t ignore me….
Examples of some of my scarier posts? Well, this one. Where I write about the same topic. This one, where I write about stuff I care about. This one where I share poetry and process. They are often at least a little bit scary. I am usually exposing myself a tiny bit, regardless of the topic.
But this blog is nice for a few reasons, in terms of self-exposure. It’s non-fiction, mostly. Which makes it easier to be honest with a patina of presenting-well. It’s transient. I can surface old posts, but I’m really the only one who remembers what all is out there, and most people don’t click back further than a few days if they do at all. It is made of short snippets of random whatever, which makes it easy to gloss over those posts that do make me feel more exposed than the others.
Sharing Fiction Is Worse
My book is a novel-length exercise in self-exposure. No, nothing that happens to my protagonist has happened to me. It’s not that sort of exposure. I tap into the things that scare me the most to write it. I write what I fear. By letting you read my novel, I hand you the key to my nightmares.
Imagine letting someone into your head that much. Imagine how much you would fear that they might hate you or revile you after that glimpse. I also write what I love, what I hate, what draws me in and compels me. I write from raw emotion. I hand my readers my heart, my darkest shadows, my deepest fears, and I can only hope they won’t hate me for it.
Yesterday, I had a conversation with my in-laws about the book. About where I am in the process. It was hard to admit to them that it even exists. I don’t know if I want them to read it. If they read it, would I want to know that they had? Would they look at me differently after they had?
I know that my friends and family support me. It terrifies me that people who know me in real life might actually read my fiction.