I’m in the UC Berkeley Extension writing program, and I was invited to read a piece of my writing at an event yesterday. I’ve done a few readings before. They always give me a ton of anxiety, but I love doing them. This one was different, because my piece was different. It was a highly personal essay, about the journey I’ve been on the past few months. I’ve never shared anything so personal before, and parts of it were scary to read.
But I knew it would be that way – I planned it that way. I don’t see much point in sharing something that feels comfortable. The whole time I read, I wondered if people were bored and sitting politely waiting for me to finish, wondering why I was reading some version of my personal diary out loud. Since I’ve never shared anything personal that didn’t have a plot of any kind, it’s hard to know what others will find interesting.
After the event was over, a dark haired woman approached me and told me that she’d like a copy of my piece. “When it’s finished,” she said.
I was struck dumb that anyone would want to read it again, or share it with anyone. It was about me. All about me – no other characters, no plot, nothing. Just me, and something tough that I’ve gone through in the past six months. “You can have this copy,” I said, holding up the printout that I’d brought for myself.
She smiled big. “Really? You’ll give me your copy?” I felt like I’d done something for her personally, changed the course of her day, helped her, without even doing anything. I handed her the stapled pages, so surprised at the conversation I’d just had that I didn’t even ask her name. She asked for my blog address, which I gave her.
As soon as she walked away, I felt like an idiot. I suddenly hoped that she would never visit this blog. The only things I’ve posted about here are utter crap, and I couldn’t imagine them inspiring anyone. I started this blog with such a sense of obligation and frustration. I wouldn’t want her – or anyone – to be inspired by something I’ve written, only to feel disappointed upon further investigation into my work.
As I sat there by myself, I realized that I should be writing in this blog. If I inspired her, then it must be true that pieces of writing, about people, can help other people. So I’m going to start posting, and I mean REALLY posting. Before I went to sleep last night I realized that I had thirteen ideas swirling around. So, Ms. Brunette, if you do end up coming to my blog and reading this, I want you to know that you inspired me. Thank you.
I’m doing a little research, though. I may migrate to Blogger in the next few posts. I’ll update if that’s the case.
Onward and upward for me now. I’m not resisting this process anymore. Maybe this project will get some good work out of me.