“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.” — Stephen King
I saw this quote on someone’s Facebook status hours after having a revealing conversation with a friend of mine. This was a person I’d believed to be indifferent to my writing. Not in a dismissive way, as in they thought my writing was inconsequential, but that their tastes ran in a totally different direction and what I wrote wouldn’t catch nor keep their interest. In the course of the conversation, I found out I was wrong and they’ve read more of my writing than I thought. It made me wonder, how many more of my inner circle are quietly following the blog, or checking my notes on Facebook, all without the slightest indication that they’re there at all?
Now, as a writer (again, read that the same as someone saying, as a human), I put words to virtual and real paper for others to read. And quite often, these words are the equivalent of my blood in that the idea expressed has not been reworked. For fear of sounding cliché or like a Victorian poet, most times, my writing is my soul. It is still the way I express those feelings and emotions I don’t show in real life. Short of looking in my eyes (can’t hide shit), the best, most honest way to know how I feel is to read my writing. In other words, you’ll know where my “secret heart is buried”. I can and do keep quite a bit of the deeper, more personal things in my private journals. But the thoughts I end up sharing are still the same as the “landmarks” described in the quote above.
It is because of this, that I panicked. The readers I interact with for the most part are but other words on other virtual pages. As much as I enjoy the online chatting, the email and such, knowing that there are real people behind the words, it is easier to feel comfortable with the possibility that they may “look” at me funny than it is living with the possibility that someone I care about may read what I’ve written and be repulsed – I am my writing. If they reject my words, in essence (and admittedly, for the most part, in my head I believe) they reject me.
But my divinity (not included in my personality introductions because she is not “of” me) has since whispered in my head, redirecting my focus toward a more positive way to view this. Because the people in my circle mean so much to me, it is for them that I should strive to be as honest, authentic, and skilled as I can be when I put words to page. There’s no being lazy, reckless with my word choice. I must strive to produce my highest work in order to show my respect and appreciation for their readership.
Because I know you’re reading this, Thank You for providing an “understanding ear” and shining a light on yet another here-to-for unexplored aspect of my writing (of myself). I wish there was a way to adequately express what your opinion means to me. But as Stephen so eloquently pointed out, “the most important things are the hardest to say,” or in my case, write.