How to write without fear

Three reasons why I love being a writer (scholarly edition):

1.  I read a very personal piece of my writing–this one–to one of my writing classes. I’ve never introduced my work to my students like that before, but I wanted to establish for them that they can take chances in my classroom. That it’s ok to do so. Hell, that they need to.

In my other section, two students read their very personal pieces to their classmates, and it was awesome. Just great. But the second section–which is mostly women–was more reluctant. So I went for it. And it seems to have gone well; it seems to have cracked things open a bit for a few students in particular, based on their feedback, and for the room as a whole.

But damn, I’d forgotten what that’s like–to be in front of an audience and have them right there with you, right there in the palm of your hand. It was—intoxicating. And not as scary as it might have been, once.

We shall see how it shakes out–which is my formal way of saying, it was a huge fucking chance and part of me still thinks I’ll get slapped for it and part of me is like, hell yes, I’m awesome.

2. I had a paper accepted at a conference in Zurich next fall. HOLY CRAP! This is terrifying on the one hand–haven’t written said paper! How do I say “Wincest” in German?–and so fan-fucking-tastic on the other. I’m trying to enjoy the giddy stage while it lasts. Now I just need to write the damn thing.

3. And this–this one is the best. One of my colleagues is teaching a student who was in my class last term. She asked them to craft “writing histories” on the first day. My former student called me out by name and said:

“She taught me how to write fearlessly.”

Which is pretty damn perfect and makes me a little teary and damn, I have the greatest job in the world.

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