May 3, 2015

Showing Your Work

I just discovered this thing I wrote six months ago. And it's kind of ironic, but also really perfect.

I wrote a short thing six months ago but never published it. And right now I think this is a good time to put it up, because of these past few days where my university project was put online and this crazy thing happened:

At 1:12:08 (Ok, allow me to freak out about that: GIANT BOMB PLAYED MY GAME!! I literally could not sit down for 10 minutes after I had watched that. That was really, really cool, and thank you so much to the crew (and Adam Boyes, Dave Lang, and John Drake) for all the kind words you had to say about it :D )

Ok, sorry... Back on topic. I wrote something six months ago about showing your work. I'm going to present it here more or less unchanged, because I think it still holds true regardless. And mostly because I really need to put it up because... well, you'll see when you've read it.
Here goes:

Showing your work

(Header 2--because why not)

I'm really terrible about showing my work. Furthermore, I'm even worse at talking about it. That might seem untrue from the fact that I'm writing this on a blog but… I created this blog as one of the ways I could help make myself better at doing so. But there's still that weird feeling about sharing something I've done. A stunted hesitation at every moment I think about opening up.

Whenever I start thinking that I might need to show what I'm doing, I curl up inside, want to crawl away and hide. I find excuses and reasons that I might be able to wait a little longer, find ways to prolong what I'm doing and let myself be in this little bubble of experimentation a little longer. As I'm writing this I'm not sure that I'll ever actually publish it, because I'm afraid of what would happen if I showed it to someone.

Part of it comes from the fact that I am bad about sharing opinions. I've always been too closed off from the world.

But it's even worse when it's something I've done, because that isn't just my opinion. That's me, right there. That is me, you're seeing into. A fragment of me, torn out into the world in the way I found I could express it.

It's embarrassing, because of course it is.

I know that I need to do it. I know that it will make my work better in the end. I know that by submitting myself to the world, I'll learn much more than I would without doing so.

But that doesn't make it easy.

There's a weird dissonance about that. You can come up with all the good arguments, find out all the reasons why something is the right thing to do. But that alone doesn't mean that you'll do it. Hiding is far easier than opening up. Staying away is far safer than going ahead.

And I hate that. I hate that I find it so hard. I want to be better at it; I want to have the confidence to scream out to the world, to show, to talk, to fail.

But you can't convince yourself to have confidence. I want to feel like I can, but I should stop thinking that. Because, it's not really a question of confidence.

"I'm uncertain all the time, and it feels like everyone else knows exactly what they're doing." That's the excuse.

But I know they don't. If you just nodded along to that statement, you are the proof that they don't. Rationally, I know that everyone's uncertain about everything they do. But I still feel like they aren't.

Yesterday, I finally had someone else play my game. Six months ago, I finally gave out a first draft of my novel to a few people. I finally had some of my family read a short story I had written last Easter.

This year has probably been the most I've ever shared something I've done. And it sure seems like a lot when I write it out like that…

And I do feel like I'm finally starting to crack it, starting to get a little better at it. I think I realize now that because it's not about confidence, it is about accepting your uncertainty. Understanding that it is actually vital to have that slight tremble at the prospect of sharing your work. Because you know what? It is bloody nerve-racking to have someone look at your soul. It is terrifying to have someone glance at your mind.

And that's the point. If it wasn't, what are you sharing, then? If you're not sharing something that is a part of you, then what is the point of sharing it?

I know this already. And I want to get better at it. I'm going to. That's a promise. That's the point of this. To help convince myself that I can share things I don't want to.

There. Hope you enjoyed that. I hope I also got across the amount of emotions I'm going through by putting this up... but I know, I know... Up and away. Confidence and stuff. Go!