Dickinson was prolific, but private.
As the legend goes, she wrote nearly two thousand poems, but only about a dozen were published during her lifetime. Emily believed that publication was the auction of the mind.
Meanwhile, one of her colleagues scolded her refusal to publish with the following.
You are a great poet, and it is a wrong to the day you live in that you will not sing aloud.
How sad. Because singing, literally or figuratively, is the whole point of being an artist. Not because singing allows us to become rich or famous or even successful, but because singing allows us to humbly and proudly return the gift that you’ve been given back to the world.
As a profession, that’s why we’re here. Every creator has an inner imperative to give their voice aperture.
And understandably, preparing our work for public consumption can be a scary, vulnerable and anxiety inducing experience. In fact, there’s something to be said about making art for our eyes only.
But there’s a fine line between engaging in healthy selfishness and hiding our light from the world. There’s a fine line between paying yourself first and dying with your music still in you.
As a singer and songwriter, it took me five years to share any original music with the world. This reluctance stemmed from a combination of fears, which included the fear of being rejected, being ignored, being humiliated, being not good enough, and being vulnerable with my deepest feelings.
Not to mention, my own stubbornness, naiveté and immaturity.
Point being, singing aloud was terrifying. But eventually, and who the hell knows where this strength came from, maybe it was just a matter of time, my silence was finally broken.
I went public with my song, quite literally. And despite its immaturity and imperfection, doing so brought me more joy than I ever thought was possible. There was no going back. Top five best decisions of my life.
Edwin said it best in one of my favorite songs:
It was a love so big that it filled his heart, until it swelled and finally burst apart, and where the love spilled out they called it art, but he never really had no choice.
Remember, if you wait long enough, you just might die in time to avoid being publicly humiliated.
Or you can choose to unmute yourself. And discover that it’s worth it.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What are you depriving yourself and the world of by remaining silent?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
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