Is It Secret . . . Is It Safe?
I have a confession. I am an aspiring novelist. That may not sound like a great confession, but you might be amazed how many people out there have written a book or part of a book and treat it like the One Ring. “Keep it secret. Keep it safe.”
I know it took me years to start telling people.
Why are we so terrified of exposing our attempts at art? Whether drawing, painting, or written art we do them in secret and then never show anyone lest we be proven to be what we fear the most. A failure.
To admit it and then have someone ask, "Do you have a book out?" No.
What we must realize is that all great authors, painters, singers, etc. all have one thing in common. They didn’t wake up one morning being able to perform their art perfectly. No matter how great they are, all began somewhere. All received instruction. And most all, at one point, had a failure.
I wrote in secret for years, telling only a few close friends. They would read it and pat me on the back but that was it. I wrote in a cocoon, as so many writers do. The problem - In order for the butterfly to spread its wings, It first must leave the cocoon.
Then I took baby steps. I joined ACFW and Susan May Warren’s My Book Therapy. (Which are both stories for another time.) And I watched my writing grown more in the past year then all six previous years combined.
Then I began to get award nominations. I was getting closer as I learned my art.
God may have given me the gift of storytelling but it is my job to learn storycrafting. God has given you a gift. Are you nurturing it? Or are you too afraid of failure? Reminds me a lot of the parable of the talents. (Matthew 25:14-30)
Well I have been on this road for many years and it hasn't gotten easier but I keep pressing on. Now when people ask if I have a book out I just say, "Not yet." Because I do believe the day will come.
What is your experience? Is there a gift God has given you but you have been too afraid to let it out of the cocoon?