Art and Fear

In addition to being out of town and at the edge of the digital divide yesterday, my computer and smart phone were dead and dumb respectively. The computer has been resurrected, but as Forest Gump noted, you can’t fix stupid. So, the phone remains questionable. But lately I’ve been contemplating the art of writing—my art.

True art has a lot of fear in it—and part of creating art is overcoming fear.

When I first wrote No Mercy—my novel about the battle between the flesh and spirit—I did so under a pen name. In retrospect, the nom de guerre (the assumed name) was unnecessary, but it served its early purpose.

What will people think? Say? Do? Will they like what I write? Like me after I’ve written? You know the drill from whatever your art form is.

And now that the book is published and out there declaring its message, it doesn’t feel as threatening as it once did. The pen name helped me write courageously, and replacing the pseudonym with my own name? That was the final declaration that fear would not reign in my heart.

The assurance gained now guards my heart from those who miss my point. Confidence guards my heart from those doing violence to my art in order to regain the status quo from which my art moved them—the very thing it was designed to do.

My job is to write something moving, not make my reader comfortable with the move.