Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Stories

In long and short form, I have published ten stories in the past thirteen months. Ten bits and pieces of myself. Ten works I crafted and reshaped. Ten fragments of life I agonized over and worried about and rejoiced in. Ten creations of my heart I sent out into the world to be alternately enjoyed and dismissed, praised and flogged, embraced and rejected.

Stories are odd like that. They begin as an idea in an author's mind. A passing thought. A brief moment of intrigue. That fleeting bit of contemplation, when acted upon and taken up, becomes an invitation to a writer to open themselves up and pour themselves out onto a page. So often our own vulnerabilities and crushing insecurities flavor the words we use, making the tales inherently personal, a potent weapon we hand over to the public, knowing at times it will be turned back on us.

Writers are often told we need a thicker skin or the ability to not feel the pain of a stinging criticism. But feeling is part of what we do. Because our skins aren't thick, no matter how desperately we pretend otherwise, we have that all-important reservoir of emotions, experiences, empathy, and insights into what it means to be a person walking around in an often cruel world. We create stories from places of vulnerability, then invite others to pick them apart, and from the discomfort and misery of that criticism, craft new ones.

Someone once told me that when she picks up a book, she assumes the author wouldn't have published it if he didn't believe it was the best book ever written. I have thought so many times since then how much I wish she could understand that most authors publish despite a sense of inadequacy, despite seeing all the flaws in their work magnified one-hundred times over, despite anticipating criticism, despite so much. And we do it because there is a power in stories, a power we feel driven to share. 

4 comments:

Lisa said...

I so enjoy your stories! I'm glad you keep feeling the power to share them. You are a gifted writer.

Rachel said...

I loved this so much, and it's so true! The Hemminway quote is my all time favorite writing quote :)

Paij Slater said...

Love love love love this series! Your writing amazes me! My Irish accent in my head is really good :). Can't help but read it without the accent..hehe!

Jewel said...

I, for one, am eternally grateful that you have shared your ten pieces of your heart in the past while. I'm a better person because I've had the opportunity to read your writings.

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