Don't Read Me
I was in our outdoor shower this morning, my mind wandering to several years ago when I wrote a monthly column for a newspaper. A bumblebee joined me mid thought, all buzzing and hyperactive, drawing my attention outward, which is sometimes a good thing for me. I surrendered to the moment at hand, choosing to stay in the shower with the bee who stopped swarming my head sometime after the shampoo but before the conditioner. My thoughts returned to the newspaper days, and how, during those three or four years of writing for it, I had grown increasingly uncomfortable with knowing that people were actually reading what I wrote.
There lies the writer’s dilemma, common to many. At the time, I didn’t know other writers shared this problem. I thought it was unique to me, probably because of some emotional deficit born from my childhood, the same childhood that turned me into a writer. Now there’s a catch-22. It wasn’t that I didn’t want anyone to read my writing; it was that people I knew were reading my writing. And telling me. I remember when it first started. I wrote something heartfelt, sent it to the editor, and she called me. She was moved by my piece and wanted more. Like I do with many things, I jumped right in. My heart said yes, fearful thoughts to follow, but only after the deal was cinched.
Okay, just a little ole newspaper, a handful of readers, nothing ginormous. But there were my words, my name, right in front of my eyes. Strike one. I am not sure how many other writers share this next particular oddity, but once I publish a piece, I can hardly stand to see it again. I fear I will see things I wish I’d written differently, or not like it at all anymore. What if I start to hate it?
Dana Laquidara’s essays have appeared in Boston Mamas, Spirituality & Health magazine, Spirit of Change, Spotlight on Recovery, and the Boston Herald, amongst other publications. “Reflection of my mother”, an excerpt from her memoir in progress, won an award in the 76th annual Writer’s Digest competition. She is a member of the Worcester Writer’s Collaborative, and blogs at http://musingsimplicity.