I get a little nervous around other authors. Not in person, usually, because I’m not that connected and don’t know many authors personally. In fact, I think I know one professional writer, and she’s related by marriage.
The skittishness comes from intimidation and insecurity, I’m sure. I listen to them talk with confidence on their craft, in the backmatter and forewords of their books, or just randomly on Twitter, and I think “Goddamn, I have a long way to go.”
Technically and emotionally, in terms of confidence and courage. I’m an old favourite t-shirt at this point, wrecked and torn by a thousand mosh pits and bonfires, waiting for that one protruding nail to catch a loose string and pull the whole thing apart.
I am trying to stitch myself together in real time, using the exposed skin as a glimpse into my soul, without standing fully naked in front of the world.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I admire those willing to bare it all.
The best literature is raw, tapping into our deepest emotions – fears and insecurities, terror or obsession or the desire for freedom or acceptance or a genuine connection. I don’t mind idea-based literature, where it’s all about the technology or some obscure philosophy, but the stuff that stays with me is the stuff that mainlines to our needs, desires and fears as humans.
Tap that vein and I’m in.
It’s what I strive for in my work, though I don’t really know how I’m succeeding, because I’ve been painfully shy about sharing it.
Hence the new site and the new Wattpad account and the slightly more active social media these days.
It’s time to get naked.
Or at least, show a little skin.