Keeping My Art Private

Last week, I came across an interesting post on Facebook that caught my eye. It reads, “Ur still an artist if u don’t release ur work. Ur still a writer if u don’t publish a piece. art is still art even in private.” I immediately liked the post because I genuinely agreed with this post. In fact, I recall a time where I had this mentality of keeping my art private.

I remember that it was middle school when I started getting into writing. When I say getting into writing, I mean writing for fun and for myself. In high school, I started getting into poetry and seeing the beauty that it can provide for me alone. In high school, I discovered that I could be more open, honest and free in my writing. I could be alone in my own little world, and this was paradise for me. At Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), I started getting into short stories, and I just loved creating new characters, plots and themes that I thought would benefit no one else but me. I remember my family and friends always wanting to read my short stories and poetry, but I was always defensive and not willing to welcome them into my world. Writing is my baby, and I have to protect it from the world.

One day, I remember that I was writing a short story on my computer, and my parents wanted to read it. Of course, I objected to them reading it. Then, they decided that they wanted to talk to me about sharing my work. They were asking me why it was so hard for me to show others what I have written. One of the things that they primarily thought was that I didn’t want to receive criticism. They thought that I couldn’t take it, but this wasn’t the case. For a second, I thought that this was the case, but I later learned that it was entirely something else. It was something that I couldn’t deny.

The truth was I didn’t want people to see a different side of me. I wanted to keep that part of me hidden to others. I write every single day, and I have nothing but love for writing. How can I just expose that to the world? How can I let the world destroy the perfect union I have with my writing? I would be alone in my own little zone. It was perfect. I just had to keep my art private.

I later realized that I needed to start sharing my work. I learned that I’m completely honest in my writing, and I shouldn’t be ashamed of that. I should be proud of my work and want to share who I am with the world, but I’m hesitant to do this. The reason is because I don’t want to be an open book for people. I don’t want people to know me. However, I knew that I needed to make the necessary steps to be okay with people getting know me through my writings.

Last year, I started the blog “The Warfield Zone.” It would be a place where I would publish all of my short stories and poetry for people’s viewing pleasure. I didn’t make it emphatically known that I had a blog to others because I still wanted to keep it a secret. I was also trying not to post too much to much on my blog because that would just expose too much of me. Later, I found that it wasn’t so bad to post. It was almost relieving and therapeutic. Months passed, and I let close friends and family know more about my blog. This year, I decided that I wanted to post regularly and let it be known to many others that I have a blog.

Also, I decided to share more of my photographs regularly as well this year because it’s a part of who I am as a storyteller, and I’m not ashamed of it.

I have learned that sharing has helped me grow as a person. It has helped my family and friends understand me in ways they never conceived. I’m thankful that people have found my writings to be entertaining and enjoyable. I’m thankful to God for giving me talents that I finally have the courage to share with the world.

For artists/writers that keep their work private, I totally understand it. You have a right to keep your work private, but I also think it’s important to explore your reasoning behind keeping it private. When I was exploring the reason I kept my work private, I learned that it was holding me back as a writer. Sharing my work has helped me reach unimaginable heights that I never knew existed. It gave me the necessary relief I needed to be a comfortable writer now. That’s my reasoning. What’s your reasoning?

Thank you for reading “Keeping My Art Private.” Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this piece.

Next week, I will be posting two poems, one on Tuesday and one Thursday.

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