Tonight I read aloud a short story I wrote some years ago. It was two pages.
I loved watching the face of my audience: so intent. Afterward, she asked if she could read it over herself. There were several points she wanted to talk about– things that jumped out at her as symbolic of me. Connections she made about my personality that were illustrated in my characters. Questions she wanted to ask.
I was happy to indulge her, to be interviewed.
Watching someone else hold my work in their hands and study it was amazing.
Suddenly my short story felt elevated to literature.
I stopped writing creatively years ago. I barely blog these days. I didn’t consider myself intelligent, creative or brave enough. I also didn’t want to take on the vulnerability of being published, analyzed.
I had other reasons as well. The last time I wrote something creative and personal, in a “free” writing work shop, it was stolen and published without my permission. The betrayal caused me to shut down and stop writing.
But this experience made me feel validated. More confident. Safe.
This reader found my story inspiring. She was impressed with my creativity.
It made me feel smart, important. Powerful.
I want to share that story with others. Maybe even try and publish it.
And maybe let my pen run free once again.