How many of you remember the first time you shared your work? Do you remember what prompted you to do so? Where you were in your life? Had you been creating for a long time and suddenly, for whatever reason, felt like man, it's time I share this with the world? Or had you taken a long hiatus from creating and decided now that you were back to it, it was time to share?
These are the things I ask my family of artists that I interview for the blog here. And even if you're not featured on the site, you're part of the family, so I want to know about you too.
(PS. Want to be featured? Email me and tell me why!)
I, personally, fall into the former category. That's to say, something happened that pushed me out of the artist's closet. I don't know if you remember, but for a few months my Instagram feed was all about sharing the work of others. Those artist journeys, in essence, were the only things I wrote about it, which is fine. It's a reflection of where I was at the time: striving to find my way as a creator, needing to learn from absolutely anyone I could.
At the same time I was also reading letters of artists like a mad women. Those resulted in my series of mock interviews with Fitzgerald, Tolkien, Tchaikovsky, etc.
Eventually, my self-education did the trick.
See, I was trying to immerse myself in the lives of artists I admired so that I could flick my brain, show it that I could do this too. It worked. 6 or so months in I was ready to create original work: fiction & poetry.
It's been a wild ride.
I remember being so scared to share that first time. I was like, Okay, I know I can do this. Or, hold on. Wait. Can I? How good am I? They don't want this from me. They come to me for artist interviews. Shoot, Mackenzie, just TRY. Try, kid, try.
And then I did. And something wonderful happened... I connected with others so much more deeply. Because I was suddenly IN the trenches with them, versus on the outside as an editor. I was learning anew, about the craft of "arranging bouquets of words," as I say. Also, about myself and my fears and my feelings of worth. It was, and still is, such a beautiful process.
Yesterday, I sent out 30 pages of my novel to a group of reviewers, writers, and poets. It was such a big moment for me. Printing it, hard copy, arranging Christmas treats to go alongside the package of words. It was exciting. It was scary. I found myself writing letters to this community of early readers "warning" them that it wasn't perfectly polished.
But I sent them anyway.
So now, today, I am taking this whole pushing of my own boundaries one step further and offering to you guys the first 30 pages. Not by hard copy, as I can't honestly afford to send any more by snail mail around the globe. And also, I'm travelling now. BUT digitally.
If you want that, please just click here and you'll receive it!
The loveliness of this is that you come behind the curtain with me, you see the process, and you can make an impact on the book. How? By sending me your honest to god thoughts. If you have the desire to do so, I'll add your name into the book. Promise.
If not, not a sweat. Not even a tiny droplet.
I just had to offer this to you guys, because you mean the WORLD to me. Thank you for being there. Thank you for spreading your gifts all over the world. Thank you for inspiring me to join you in the sprinkling. And thank you for simply being you.