Sharing is Scary

(Featured image of a painting I did my senior year with two of my best friends, C and A)

Welcome, folks! Post 15/100! Wooooo.

So, as you know by now, I like to be creative. I love to express myself through cooking, painting, writing, and singing. I love to engage my creative process every day, whether it be this blog, a shitty poem, or a painting. Everything I do I try to do creatively.

But my post today is about sharing my creations. About how afraid I am that I’m bad at the things I love to do. Now, I know that I’m a pretty bomb cook. But I still worry when I make food for people that they might not like it, and I’m terrified until they tell me they like it. I crave the feedback, the reassurance that I, indeed, created something enjoyable. With all of my other creative endeavors I am not nearly as comfortable.

I love to paint, but I’m afraid of sharing my paintings in case they’re not what people want to see. Unless they were the love-children paintings of my senior year of college or some other collaboration, my paintings have always been guarded and kept close because what if… what if they’re bad, or ugly, or send the wrong message, or anything else. What if?

I get a special kind of high when I write poetry or short stories. I get a whole new mindset when I’m writing creatively. I love to ride that wave and let all sorts of ridiculous things spill out onto my pages. I write about the times when I’ve been assaulted and I write about that one time I attempted suicide. I write about the dark times. Those are usually my best poems, but I’m not about to share that shit with the world- who wants to see that, to be jarred by my inner turmoil? I also write flowery crap about butterflies and unicorns and rainbows and shit. But that’s awful stuff. It has forced rhymes and Dr. Seuss-ey meter. My short stories are always kept private, just like my paintings. I still regret not being able to take that creative writing class in college because it would have forced me to share my work and accept that people may sometimes actually enjoy my writing.

When I create my art, whether it be painted, drawn, or written, I take pure, unadulterated me and slap it on my canvas. I don’t dilute my emotions or my fear. I splatter paintings with my anger, bliss, or anxiety. I sometimes drape my poems with a veil so dark Sylvia Plath would shudder. My short stories are snapshots into my mind- and my mind can be a terrible place. It can also be a place so beautiful and so imaginative that my writing will never do it justice. So the thought of sharing it with others, people who find me to be a well-adjusted, positive person, terrifies me.

I’m a bit of a perfectionist- it comes from the fact that I never thought I was good enough growing up. For example, my mom always wanted A’s, not just for me to try my best. Now, she calmed the hell down after middle school and was just like “dude, try your hardest, if that’s a C, then we’ll deal with that,” but the damage was kind of done. I totally don’t blame her entirely (it’s also not just a thing I picked up out of nowhere) – my teachers always pushed me for perfection and I even had a college professor give me a B once because he felt that I “didn’t meet the standards” he had for me. I “completed the assignment to all specifications” but it just wasn’t “up to par.” I still have that stupid post-it note. Seriously, who says that? So, tangent aside, I like my stuff to be perfect before I share it with others.

Here is where my view of art and its juxtaposition to the view of my art comes in. I think art is so beautiful when it is full of raw, delicate emotion. I find the imperfections and flaws just as beautiful, if not moreso, than the well executed techniques of the artist. I think imperfection in itself is art- they’re the subconscious additions that show up. If an artist has the gall to leave their mistakes or even showcase them, I am impressed. It makes the artist seem more human, more real and relatable. I love that. But I just cannot apply that outlook on my art, and I think that’s where I fall short. My art makes me feel naked, and I am afraid to share that vulnerability with others- it is a straight shot to 100% Jess. That’s a lot of Jess to witness. I should just embrace my creations and love them for what they are- little pieces of me scattered about on a canvas or a page.

This blog is a little bit cathartic for me- especially the 100 posts in 100 days challenge I gave myself. I have less time to craft my posts- less time to plan my research or my arguments. And I also have less time to think of content. I’ve definitely pulled from my personal life more than I thought and I’m definitely sharing more with the world than I ever thought I would on here- and I kind of like that.

Until tomorrow, folks!

Are you ever afraid of sharing anything you create? Do you censor yourself in any way when sharing yourself with others? Let me know in a comment below so I feel less weird about this.

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