Creative Confessions: Being Real
I was reading the other day, and the writer (Glennon Doyle) was encouraging her partner to be real in her writing, saying something like people know real people, and people like real people.
It made me think of my own struggle with this idea of "being real" in creative works.
I strive to "be real," to be authentic in my daily undertakings and interactions with others. Being honest, being genuine, being transparent (in other words, being real) is important to me. And I hope, if you know me, you know this about me.
Yet "being real" in my creative works is hard. It's not that I don't do it. But it's like standing naked, being judged by an audience whose faces I cannot see and yet they stand for everyone I know, and being found wanting. Lacking. Not enough.
Some days I don't know if I can do. Stand naked and let the rotten tomatoes come.
But then I think I must, because otherwise it's just smoke and mirrors.
Maybe that's it. Writing, for me, is a way to clear away the smoke and ensure the only mirrors I use are for light.
If I think about writing as a way to achieve some sort of external goal, it's too much. So I think instead it must become like air and water - something that isn't what I become but rather what keeps me alive.
When I think about the times I've been happy with my work, when I feel proud about the products of my creative processes, it's only when my work stemmed from being real. Sharing real experiences, real people, real thoughts.
Today, I commit to that, even when it's hard. Even when it scares me.
With warmth and gratitude,