Why Share?

A written string to tie around your finger

I’ve been writing for quite a while. Mostly in the form of short freeform verses soaked in self-reflection and indulgence. Some have been better. There has been the odd piece that stretched longer and further, reaching beyond my ego. Possibly far enough to touch someone else. Of these hundreds of pieces, I have shared less a small handful.

Rationalization of this hoarding has traveled along a few lines of thought. 1) The result is in the act itself, the writing of it. 2) Their value could diminish when shared. 3) The least conscious but most obvious, what if nobody thought they were any good?

I can find some validity in the first. It’s important to have things just for you, things you create that aren’t meant to serve an audience, that allow you to revel in the creation itself. Some validity, but it only carries to a point. To share nothing is to disconnect, to allow the pendulum to get stuck at one extreme.

The second concern, that “their value could diminish when shared” falls farther on the side of bullshit. When a reader or watcher or viewer takes in someone else’s creation, they find their own meaning in it. The piece will be taken in and made sense of in the context of that individual’s experiences, outlook, etc. Or it won’t resonate and will simply float away. In either way, the value is not diminished but is expanded and changed. Readers don’t change the experience you may have had writing.

The last concern of external feedback is a tricky beast. I find myself all too reliant on external feedback, and so I sought to protect the “purity” of my writing by eliminating this source of “corruption.” Once again, there is some understandable intent here. But while writing may be a solitary art, the process of growth is not. Feedback, reactions, questions from others are crucial to honing your craft. After all you have only one infinitely unique perspective, why deprive yourself of insight from another person, another slice of infinity?

This is a long winded way to say: fuck the harbouring and hoarding.

I’m distinguishing the value of privacy from the destruction of shame. I’ll share and know that no one is obliged to partake.

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