Writing has been a source of great healing, release and relief for me, but it also terrifies me. Actually let me back up. Writing is not the scary part, it's the sharing part that sets my nerves on edge.
Patching my words together, loving them until they are bonded to one another, and then sending them out into the world to be looked over and scrutinized by people who may or may not realize all that it took to bring them to life is agonizing.
It is much like sending your child off for their first day of school, hoping the teacher will appreciate them the way that you do, praying the children on the playground will not poke fun, or be cruel.
Sharing my stories feels so deeply personal, because while much of what I write is fiction, (or poetry, which always feels like my life in riddle form) there is a little bit of my story in every story (and every poem). I bury bits of my past, hints of my pain and traces of my journey throughout it all.
There is something of me in everything I write.
And while sharing anything I write is difficult, fiction still has always felt safer than writing about my experiences directly. If sharing fiction is like sending a child off to school, then writing non-fiction feels like walking out of my house completely naked and stopping to ask each stranger what they think of me.
Yet, I continue to feel this need to share my story outright; to stop masking it with the garments of my imaginary friends who only exist in the worlds I've created for them, and in the mind of my readers. I am working on being brave enough to satisfy that urge.