I asked a friend if he would play piano for me, at our neighbourhood bar. He said he would -- if I sang as he played. "Fun!" I thought, before being seized by fear. He also suggested that I perform some spoken word poetry on open mic night. "Fun!" I thought, before being seized yet again by fear.
There's a theme occurring here. Fear. But fear of what? Fear of self-expression? No, that's not quite it...
Ah, yes. Fear of being seen. Being seen involves vulnerability and exposure. It opens up the potential for criticism. A wise man once said, "If you want to avoid criticism: say nothing, do nothing, be nothing." (Author of this quote up for debate).
"Nothing" is not an option for me. Nor should it be an option for any of us. Like so many introverted artists before me, I must swallow the lump in my throat, and walk hand in hand with risk as I show my art to the world, whether that be singing, poetry, or publishing my book.
In the case of my book, I'm taking it a step further; beyond a revealing, beyond exposure. I am asking for help. The truth of the matter is, without help there will be no art to show. It will remain on my hard drive, collecting proverbial dust.
In effect, I am not only saying "See me." I am also saying, "Trust me."
Trust me that this art is worth it. Trust me to deliver. Trust me to spread a message of love, courage, and companionship through a children's tale.
Finally, trust that this is not just about me being seen. This is not just about publishing a book.