Thursday, May 24, 2012
That Fear . . . That Silence
And it frustrates the hell out of me being so uncertain of myself.
Each time I step behind a podium, a mic, even a telephone if the interview is long-distance, I have a plan, a rehearsed plan. I have passion, no doubt about that. I'm doing what I love to do, often wishing there were more hours in the day so I could do more, perform better, deliver more profoundly to those I hope to serve. Write more.
There aren't enough hours, days, or years to complete the stories I wish to write, or deliver my passion to the world to such a a degree that everybody I touch "gets it." I find that so important . . . passion. It pains me when I don't connect, and it pains me more to see writers going through the motions instead of jumping, dancing arms wide, being writers with something to say, wanting people to read their work so badly that they sometimes make fools of themselves. I would rather buy a book or read an article from somebody who trips on his feet, stumbles his words, or mixes a metaphor, and then laughs at himself, than I would the person who stoically follows the rules, shows the way to their book, then leaves the room, leaving nothing of themselves behind.
However, I think the worst pain of all to a writer is silence.
The silence of no questions from the room. The silence of no comments on a blog post. The silence of no ReTweets. The lack of likes on Facebook. The lack of reviews. Less than stellar sales. We all know some of these. Hopefully nobody knows them all. That's sad when you try and wait . . . and are left waiting. Maybe that's why some leave quickly, afraid to see nobody has questions.
Such silence can make a writer choke on self-doubt, even shove them toward quitting. Why do writers feel ashamed when others don't read them? It's failure on an extremely high level, and we often quietly "disappear into that good night."
We'd rather be rejected, have something proactively to address, gnaw on, or refute. Even booing is a response. Give us a bone, for God's sake.
But that silence . . . oh God that silence.
Writing should be my voice, the page my podium.
But it's not. Not in this world where noise is required before you can be seen and then make your point. So just remember this:
== When you read a book, write a review . . . somewhere. Leave your thank you for the writer who dared expose his heart and oh-so-sensitive soul to you.
==When you read a blog post that is smart, touching, witty, or informative, leave a comment. Or forward it, Tweet it, FB mention it. Again, thank the person for daring to show personality to a very critical world.
==When you hear a writer speak, watch him, follow him, then clap madly at the end. Ask a question, just so he knows you listened. Thank him for being there . . . for being him . . . for giving to you.
Some may wonder what's brought such a melancholy post, but the fact is, I'm writing for so many who've confided in me about one of these points or another. Maybe the latest email just pushed me far enough. So many silently hurt, almost physically, at the platform effort, dog-and-pony show we're forced to endure, even if only online.
I want to tell them to DARE!
I want to tell them to APPRECIATE DARING in others!
I want people to feel better, try with passion, and know that every time they receive silence in response to their effort, thousands others understand. Keep trying.
Dare NOT to be silent, no matter which side of the podium you're on. Appreciate each other. The passion, talent, and success spewed into the world would be astounding.