Writing scares me sometimes. It’s not really about words at all; it’s about balancing in that moment between baring your soul to the whole world and hiding behind your imagination. As readers – and as writers – we value originality and honesty, both of which can be found most often in the blurring of the line between writer and human. In every creative writing course/class I have taken and in every book or article I have read, the first piece of advice has always been to write what you know. But where does this end?

Like most teenage writers, it took me a while to grow beyond taking this statement literally. I churned out line after line about my own experiences, and it was only later that I learned to take my experiences and use them to talk about other things. Even this redirection of personal experience and emotion leaves me feeling vulnerable sometimes, though, as if I’m giving too much of myself away. I’m not scared of sharing myself with the world, but I am scared of leaving myself vulnerable to the people I know.

I mention this only because I remembered my old deviantART account this afternoon and decided to clean it up a little, perhaps with a view to using it to share my writing again. I was unexpectedly confronted with all these snapshots of my teenage self – and not in a good way! I’m still not sure how I feel about these parts of me being immortalised in my writing – perhaps they’re still too close to home – but for now they’re out of sight, out of mind. It also made me realise how I still keep this part of my life secret from people I know face-to-face; never exactly hiding it, but never telling anyone or letting anyone read anything either. Part of me is still scared of really writing.

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