As a creative, I well know that feeling of releasing the product of my soul to the world. It’s about as appealing as walking naked down a city street, and on a bad hair day. To create is to be vulnerable, and so it is no wonder that so many of us cringe at the thought of exposing ourselves to critique, judgement, and perhaps even rejection.
So why do we persevere? Over and over again we create a poem, a painting, a story, a song, and after holding it close to our chest, protecting and nurturing it until it’s ready for public scrutiny, we put it out there for the world to see. As John Augustus Shedd penned in 1928, a ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. So, we must release our creative works, risking the ridicule and dismissal of something that came from our very essence.
One of my favorite genres to read is memoir. Here, the writer, playwright, or singer is revealing things they’ve done, often painful things that they’re ashamed of or wish they could whisk away and hide. By sharing these events publicly, we all benefit. I remember when I read “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed, a memoir about finding oneself again by walking hundreds of miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. Cheryl made some terrible choices—having unprotected sex, getting addicted to heroin, destroying her marriage. Then she embarked on a journey by herself, hiking for months with no prior experience and making just about every mistake a person can make and live to tell about it, and somehow, it was the most inspiring, uplifting story I’ve read about a personal journey. It made me feel I could be brave, that I could overcome my fears and be the stronger for it.
I adore the poet Mary Oliver. She has two poems that particularly inspire me, “Wild Geese” and “The Journey.” The latter is about finding oneself and taking the steps necessary to make one’s own life all that it can be. The imagery is astounding, and when I think of publishing a creative work, I visualize her verses of wind prying at me with its stiff fingers, and I force myself to stride deeper and deeper into the world.
As most of you know, I am writing my first full-length novel, APEX, which I will soon be submitting for the next stage of the publishing process. I want it to be blow-your-mind perfect, and I’m scared to death that it won’t live up to your expectations. I think it’s good, but is it great? I don’t know, and so it’s with equal parts excitement and dread that I will put it out there for your reading enjoyment. I’ll be asking for your help to preorder copies once I have a release date, and I’ll be asking for reviews to help publicize this story. To be honest, I get heart palpitations just thinking about it, but I’m trying to be braver than my fears.
My younger daughter, Amanda Munro, is brave. She is a singer, guitar player, and songwriter. Her music is fully autobiographical and so, so beautiful. Thus, it is with enormous pride that I invite you to listen to her very first single, “Clean Slate.” This song tells the story of love, heartbreak, and how she pulls herself through it by uprooting her life and starting fresh.
Please do us the honor of listening to her song, providing a review, and sharing it with your friends. Maybe you’ll find your new favorite musical artist after listening to Amanda’s song!
Go to https://www.amandamunromusic.com/, stream her song on Spotify, follow her on Instagram, and/or subscribe to be notified when her next single is released (The Ghost, available December 11th). If you want to support her music with a donation, there’s a link to do that as well.
So, I close by saying to all of you creative people out there, GO FOR IT! We want to hear your words, see your images, feel what you feel. I hope you can overcome your fears and put something out there for us to all share.