I attended a creative writing class this week. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I signed up, but I was excited to go.
Eight individuals of different ages and backgrounds showed up in a small room tucked away at the back of our local library. After some initial comments from the instructor, she provided two writing prompts to start our creative journey. Each participant chose one and got to work. Approximately twenty minutes later, the chime on our instructor’s phone alarm signaled the end of our initial writing session, and she asked if anyone wanted to share their work. It got so quiet you could hear the vacuum humming down the hallway.
I glanced around the room, participants nervously gazing down at the laps, avoiding eye contact at all costs. I blurted out, “Come on. Someone has to share. That’s why we’re here, right?” They laughed. After reminding everyone that we were here to have fun and support each other, one woman volunteered to share her story. When she was finished, she looked up, and everyone clapped. As each of us expressed what we had enjoyed about her writing, she shared a bit more about the inspiration behind her creation.
The next person to share was the mysterious man in the corner who had traveled to the class on roller skates. Arms filled with tattoos and long hair pulled up in a bun, he read from his notebook. When he was finished, I couldn’t help but blurt out, “Um, first of all, you should read audiobooks for a living!”
He laughed while I asked, “Are you a poet?” He hesitated for a moment, then shyly admitted, “Yeah, I am.”
“You read that like you were at a poetry slam.” I proclaimed. And I meant it. It was beautiful.
As the evening unfolded, most participants found the courage to share something they had written, including myself. Others chose to simply listen, creating an atmosphere of camaraderie and enthusiasm.
The evening was a testament to the power of vulnerability and creative expression. Not because every piece shared was a masterpiece, but because we had shown up, written, and created something only we could create. Our stories, ideas, and poems may have been imperfect, but they were uniquely ours. In sharing them, we uncovered not only our creative potential but also fun facts about each other.
Often, our fears hold us back from sharing what we’re working on, from exposing our creations to the world and saying, “Look, I made this thing. What do you think?” Yet, beautiful things happen when we are courageous enough to share our ideas. We make new friends, gather fresh insights, and become inspired to create even more.
Certainly, not everything we create is meant to be shared, but if you’ve been procrastinating on a dream or idea for far too long, consider this your sign to start. Create what you’re meant to create, and maybe even share it with the world. The right people can only discover it when you invite them in.