A topic that comes up on AW occasionally from newbie writers is the issue of being embarrassed or ashamed to write. For the people who bring this up, they often say that they don’t tell family or friends they write. It’s their secret business and presumably it stays that way until they lose that sense of shame. Fair enough, you might say. We all work differently after all. Plenty of writers (me included) don’t want people to ask too much about their work until the particular piece is finished and they don’t want to let people read a work in progress. That I can understand. Shame, on the other hand, is an issue I’ve never got my head around.
Being creative doesn’t make a person automatically better than another. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re more intelligent or have more to say. It means they express themselves in a particular way whether that’s through writing, painting, designing, singing or whatever floats your boat. But at no point should that creative person feel ashamed or embarrassed to admit that’s what they do. So what if they never achieve any professional success with it? The chance is there, and with that chance, they could entertain hundreds if not thousands of people. They’re using their brain; they’re exercising an inbuilt talent instead of letting it go to waste. Look at this way: which is a more productive use of someone’s time – writing a book or letting their brain dribble out of their ears while they watch a load of pointless non-entities on Big Brother? It’s a strange world that connects shame and embarrassment with one of those issues and puts the other up as entertainment.
So, newbies, don’t be ashamed of what you do. Embrace it. Be proud of it. And if your name doesn’t end up on the front of a published book, then still don’t be ashamed. Shame is the last thing you should be concerned with when it comes to writing.