I've been chafing against inviting more people into my creative practice since I started publishing my work daily 133 days ago. The hypocrisy of posting about the value of imperfection and sharing vulnerable process as product and simultaneously feeling insecure and unwilling to invite people to receive my work isn’t lost on me.
And yet the willingness to be vulnerable with successively less familiar audiences, to reach back out to stagnant relationships in the hopes of offering my process as a sort of olive branch and bridge back into connectedness, feels simultaneously like a generous and caring offer and also like full blown narcissistic grandiosity. Hey I haven’t talked to you in a while, want to read me talk about my creative process everday?
And yet I feel more and more that it’s not my role in my process to judge its value. I show up and do the work, and then I offer it to the world. To hide the product is to hide within the process, and I’ve not only done too much hiding in my life, but I’ve also learned entirely from the process of others who have chosen not to hide. Every single piece of work you’ve ever read was once the private thought of someone who made a vulnerable decision to publish.
But the willingness to share and invite others in isn’t binary. Some day I may be willing enough to invite everyone carte blanche, to pass a tipping point of resistance, but it is this tipping point that is important, not a magic on or off. Willingness is something I can do work on. Something I can cultivate. If I feel vulnerable reaching out, there are all sorts of ways I can practice doing so in ways that increase my comfort on one side, and my resistance on the other. And one of the best is simply to share.
But the other is to change the mountain into a process of climbing. instead of The Invite To Everyone, how can I build invitation into my daily practice? Can I send each post to one new person in my past or present? Can I take each day as an opportunity for connection, not guilt at not having done so yesterday? Daily practice of publishing is how I build my willingness to be vulnerable in the face of perfectionism. Daily reaching out is how I practice humanity in the face of isolationism.