I write in a closet. It’s a cozy place with everything I need to create my stories. There is a Microsoft Surface with a blue keyboard and a mouse, because I can’t figure out how to use the trackpad on that thing. There’s a meandering path to get there and inevitably I find myself distracted by work, husband, child, and friends when I’m on my way to write. Even when I carve out time to visit my writing closet the way is often blocked by obligations.
The thing I like about my closet is that I decide who visits me there. Hand selected friends, family members, and other bloggers get to see what I produce in my closet. If I take a risk and show my work to new people and they don’t like it my closet is off the beaten path so they won’t stumble upon it again.
In my dreams my closet is huge. It’s an auditorium filled with adoring readers and harsh critics who can’t help but love me. I sit onstage and read my work with tears coursing down my face and tissues are handed around as emotions fill every nook and cranny of the audience. There is magic in that space and time stops for my stories.
But, growing out of a closet is scary. What if when I get to the auditorium it’s empty except for me and my mom? (Of course my mom will come, she’s awesome like that. She will even be there early.) What if it’s filled with haters and they throw rotten vegetables at me? What if it’s rundown, rat infested and stinky, and not the space I was dreaming of? It’s so cozy in my closet, and I’m not sure I want to leave except that dream is so alluring…
I had an enlightening meeting with my family therapist on Friday and she told me I have to stop hiding my writing. She said I had to go home and post about my writing on my personal Facebook account, but that terrifies me. Right now my writing world and the real world are very separate, and I’m scared of merging the two. That said, I’m also tired of living this dual life: one where I live out my hopes and dreams through my stories and another where I look down my engineer’s nose and scoff, “Isn’t writing for 23 year old English majors who can’t find a real job?” I even have two separate Twitter profiles. This schizophrenia runs deep.
So blogger friends, as people I trust to hang out in my writing closet all the time, what do you do? Is your writing life and your real life the same? Did you ever hide your writing life from your real life? What happened if you merged the two? Any advice for how to embrace my writer persona? Have you put your writing on your personal Facebook account, and if so what happened?
Oh, and I totally don’t write in a literal closet. I write in a beautiful basement study that was recently remodeled.
In fact, there’s even a real closet in there. It’s filled with games and craft supplies, and anyone is welcome to see it. Even you, my blogging friends.