Before I post something new, I think about the line Erykah Badu says to her audience on the song “Tyrone” “Keep in mind that I'm an artist and I'm sensitive about my shit”
It doesn't matter how care free I am when it comes to how I live my life, releasing my work into the world can be downright scary sometimes. I put deep thought into my work and want my viewers to cherish it just as much as I do. In the beginning, I'd shy away from public vulnerability and choose to secretly write or talk closely with someone who was rich in empathy. I'd let my books fill up with poetry and only let one or two people get a peek into my mind and ask them "what do you think?" it wasn't until a friend asked me “Are you going to do anything with these?” that I found the courage to post my work and also submit it to literacy magazines.
Four things in mind whenever I feel hesitant about releasing anything to the public eye:
1) Everything isn't for everyone
Let's start this off by mentioning not everyone will gravitate towards your work. It sucks, I know. The only thing you can do is continue to dance to the beat of your own drum and put out as much as your heart desires. People can be very crucial (especially online) and It's pretty much impossible to live up to your expectations as well as everyone around you. What i can do is reassure you that one day, you'll get to the point where it doesn't get a rise out of you.
2) Emotions are pretty much universal.
I can't even begin to tell you how many nights I've stayed up with a friend comparing and contrasting our daily struggles. As we exchanged our stories I started to find it strange to utter the words, “no one will understand.” The truth is we may not all go through the same trials and tribulations but it's fair to say we all know what feels good and what doesn't. Whether it's matters that deal with the heart or mind, We are all connected in someway no matter the difference in culture or language we speak.
3) Constructive criticism is healthy and beneficial.
Forget about the ounce of annoyance we'd feel when we noticed a bunch of red writing on the back of our essay in school. Constructive criticism (when valid) provides negative and positive feedback that can help identify your areas of weaknesses and improve your skills. It's normal to fall into defense mode when you hear something you disagree with, try not to. I'd advise listening closely, taking notes and sharing your perspective in a non debatable way. We tend to forget that we're all works in progress and know at least one thing someone else may not know.
4) Get Out Of Your Own Way
Let's be honest, sometimes the only thing stopping you is you. My habit of being a perfectionist can turn me into my worst critic. I'll criticize it to the point I'm stuck with just a pen and a blank piece of paper. So do me a huge favor before you press delete, dispose of it or try to pick apart your efforts, Try to remember exactly why you did it to begin with. Whether it's a form of release or just something you’re extremely good at. We need you!
Written By: Ebonie L