Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Baring the Soul

It’s all about revision.

I’m on version 3.0 of my first book that will be published soon. Maybe I’m at 3.3 since I keep tweaking little bits after the last full go-over. Or 5.3 if you want to count the random ideas that floated in my head well before I officially put fingers to keyboard. I keep finding things I can revise to make a line flow more cleanly or an idea stand out more sharply.

It’s a tiny book. The words are simple. But it’s from the heart and I want to put it out there. I’m excited and nervous. I’m brushing that line of fear where I want to pull the trigger...but…

What if it could be better. A lot better. Or perhaps better left unsaid.

It doesn’t matter what creative expression you are into: writing, music, poetry, painting, knitting, weaving, vlogging, metalsmithing, game coding or quilting. You create and you fear. You make and you tear down. You form and you bury the results in the corner. Or, you show the world.

Showing bares you naked. You have to admit, yes, I did that. That’s my message. I’m responsible for that. It’s the ultimate spotlight for growth or collapse.

Some people seem completely OK with this process. Some people are incredibly prepared to do it and seem destined to succeed. They have amazing personalities, backgrounds, degrees and experience that scream “My products are legit and valuable!”. That’s not me. Yes, I have my mind and my experiences but most of the time I think that’s not nearly enough. Then, I remember all the people who have contributed to my life over the years and I realize that what I write can be an ode to them. It’s not all about me. I can pay respect to those people who gave of themselves and their gifts by sharing a bit of my own self moving onward. I can hope that may end up being a gift to someone else down the road.

I want to share my inner self in this place and time. We don’t get to go back and rewrite or revise our lives. But what we can do is learn and adapt what makes up our days as we go forward. That can cause little chances that add up over a lifetime to a point where we end up barely recognizing  the “you” of where we first began.

So, I revise my book. I fight the urge to hide it until it is “better” and welcome the reactions of others. Those interactions will become part of my story from here. That both thrills and terrifies me in equal measures. I press on. By sharing, we can connect. By connecting, we can see new things. When we see new things, we can revise. And when we revise, we grow.

It’s all about revision.

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