I have wanted to be a writer since I was in third grade and discovered the magic of words, books, ghost stories, and mystical adventures. I used to dream entire novels and always had at least two in my head. Like everything else in my life my grandmother had something to say about this, including the pronouncement that I would have to major in English and should write about “happy” things after I read her one of my ghost stories. How funny that she thought it was odd when I stopped sharing my writing with her.
Secret writing became my style, journals hidden where no one would find them, penned words that I read aloud to myself. My journals kept my words safe until they were subpoenaed. It occurred when I sued Phillips Petroleum for #metoo like behavior way before anyone cared, and their expert psychiatrist was given access to my secret tomes. Luckily I had destroyed most of them, and only had one incomplete volume to share. Still my words were included verbatim in her report to the lawyers. My words and thoughts were shredded and evaluated and in the end, used against me. And all my secret lyrical writing ceased..
As my career changed I found myself in the world of academic writing. Of course metaphors and a bit of the mystical found their way into articles where they barely belonged and were then reframed and tamed by understanding co-authors. It was years before I was brave enough to start soul-level writing again, but then miraculously, I shared my words in a novel and a blog.
However, curled up inside one of my secret corners lives a shivering fear, one that I think lives inside most artists. A need to write drives me, but when I share my words I am exposed and naked in the world of judgment, condemnation, and censure, which is also a world of appreciation, admiration, and awe. Though I do not know which voices I will encounter, I have learned to navigate between my inner Scylla and Charybdis as I set my words free, so that they might empower others.