We’ve all done it…
You write a poem or paint a picture and you’re so proud of it that you hide it away so that no one can “judge” it. It’s an understandable fear. Creating is about putting yourself out there for the world to see and then hoping like hell your audience won’t tear it to shreds. But, that’s not a part of the process that you can control. In fact, it should be the part that you are the least worried about, because for every person who loves your piece, there exists another who’s indifferent.
That’s just the way it is…
That shouldn’t stop you from sharing. Feedback is another vital part of the creative process. It’s how the artist understands the work as it exists in the world. People will have their own interpretations and reactions to every piece, which can, at times, be very funny or sad. The audience may not get what you are trying to say but they will get something out of it. And what they say should be used to write better or at least clearer.
Which is why constructive criticism really works! Use it without fear. This is how you get better (next to practice and experience, of course). Take that criticism and advice and use it to make your piece clearer and more relatable. You know what you’re saying, but if your audience is in the dark, then you’ve lost your connection.
And be proud!
Art is not stagnant or dead. Art breathes and moves through time just like anything living. Art needs to see the light of day and be a part of the world. A poem is made to be read aloud. It needs to move from the paper, through the eye, reform in the mouth and hit the ear. That’s how it lives. And that’s how the artist connects with the world. A poem is not a poem when it simply sits on a paper. A painting is not a painting if it hides in your closet. These things can’t reach their fullest potential (nor can the artist) if they aren’t shared.
You created something. Show it off! This is an amazing thing: to actually use your imagination. Too often we are forced to trample our own creativity because of bigger obligations and responsibilities that take up our time. Celebrate the time that you got to employ your artistic skills. Half the time your audience will be impressed that you made something and shared it because so many people want to and don’t. Be the person that does!