Come Out of Your Shell

With all of the crazy things happening around us, and Summer coming to a close; I have been writing as a woman possessed. The dialogue is more meaningful and the scenery is more significant. Life is more precious and time is uncertain. This is no time to be shy. This is no time to wait until things change. This is no time to let fear overtake us and this is our time to express how we really and truly feel.

I always believed that you should write with your heart and not with your brain because that is where we live and breathe. Where we laugh and cry. Sing and dance. Live and die. We all know what we want to say but many are just too damn afraid to say it. For half my life I was afraid to speak my mind and tell people how I feel. I was afraid to let anyone, even people I loved read poems, stories, and screenplays that I had written because I was afraid, they would laugh. I figured that through the words on the paper they would see the real me, and I wasn’t willing to share and risk being ridiculed.

To all of those would-be writers out there who have always wanted to share their work, I urge you to do it now. These are crucial times and if you’ve got something to say…please say it. Don’t be afraid that people won’t get you, don’t be afraid of being criticized. Don’t be afraid of being laughed at because nowadays the weirder your art is…the better. Writers unite! Because we are currently living in a time where freedom of speech is being threatened. Have you ever noticed people being treated like crap over something they believe in? Some are even losing their lives. People are losing their careers over an old tweet they made on Twitter years ago. As if people don’t have the ability…to change. You can’t even state your own opinion about anything anymore without being verbally lynched by a swarm of angry social media people who hide behind the fact that they can’t be seen, only heard. Well, what would we do if people told us we can no longer write whatever we want because it might offend? Now I’m not saying that we should spew a whole lot of hate messages in our work. That would be wrong. But like you, I do want to have the right to write whatever I want. The only rules of writing a novel, poem, or film, should be in Grammar. That’s all. Everything else is a part of the artist’s creative mind. No matter how weird, no matter how different, no matter how true.

I remember a time when censorship was practically a sin. And people were willing to almost die to stop it. Well, where is that passion now? Why are we so afraid? Do you honestly think that when celebrities put out a bad product that they stop trying or stop doing what they love? No, they continue doing what they love no matter how much backlash they receive for it. Granted, they are forced to apologize every time they say something publicly that is deemed too radical. But that is because they are being controlled by their industry and that is a sad thing to witness.

Life is too short to bury our work in the sand. If a tree falls in a forest and nobody hears it, does it make a sound? I say no! If you’ve got something to say, say it. Before the powers that be tell you that you can’t. Nobody has tried to come after writers yet and we aren’t seeing that many books being banned anymore. Amazon and Barnes and Noble and every library and book store in the world are carrying thousands of books from thousands of authors. But just like every song or every movie we have ever heard or seen, it’s all relevant. Every single one of those books matters to someone and every book that has people who didn’t like it also has someone who did. Even one person out of one hundred who loved your book so much that they would read it, again and again, means something.

Everyone wants to be on the best sellers list, who doesn’t? But just because your book never made the list doesn’t mean it wasn’t good. It just means that only a certain number of books can wind up on that list at that moment but who knows, maybe yours will be next on the list. Or the one after that. My mom always use to say that “Nothing beats a failure but a try.” She was right. Back during slavery times, it was against the law for people like me to learn how to read. We have come such a long way from that horrible era. We need to ask ourselves, why are the things that we’ve spent our whole lives fighting for, suddenly being stripped away? I have a feeling the answers are going to come sooner than we think and we are running out of time to be hesitant.

I don’t know a lot of writers personally and I wish I did. Whenever I do have the opportunity to have a real conversation with a writer, it is exhilarating. We have so many wonderful things going on in our minds and we should always be eager to share them and with each other and the rest of the world. To all my fellow writers out there, we are not in competition with one another. We are the same and we have a mission on this planet to:

  • Teach
  • To entertain
  • To comfort
  • To make people think
  • Question
  • Imagine

What a powerful force we are and I love you all so very much. Please keep writing no matter how difficult it gets. There may be a day when books become as valuable as money. But in my opinion…they already are.

Until next time…

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