Scared to Share

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Although this was mentioned in the Calendar, I have to agree that the most interensting part to jump out at me was Austin Kleon’s discussion on amateurs. He mentions that, “creativity is always, in some sense, a collaboration, the result of a mind connected to other minds,” making even famous people such as Beethoven and Ghandi seem just as human and relatable as us (page 11). This makes it easier for me to write poetry and then present it to the rest of my workshop class. Kleon makes it seem like it is acceptable and even productive to share your creativity process with others among you so that you learn and can progress. He says, “Amateurs are not afraid to make mistakes or look ridiculous in public. They’re in love, so they don’t hesitate to do work that others think of as silly or just plain stupid,” (page 15). I really enjoy writing poetry but so many other people I learn from have a hard definition of bad writing, making it difficult and scary to present my hard, emotion-filled work in front of them.

One particular video I watched is called Bad Writing . I found this video relevant because it lets writers know that its okay to write something bad. It is a necessary step to writing something good. Bad Writing Trailer

Another website I find helpful in writing poetry is Jerz's Literacy Weblog: Poetry Tips




kpyfrom's picture

I really loved your post.I am

I really loved your post.I am working on my first book, and as of right now I feel that it is terrible. It is not finished, the grammar sucks, the sentences don't flow; everything wrong with it is wrong. However ever I find it inspiring that we start off by writing something bad before we can write something good. I hope this comes true for my works at least.

kglasso's picture

great blog post!

I really liked your post! Kleon definitely makes it seem okay to try something even if you aren't experienced. And I completely agree with your comment about it being scary to share your poetry with your workshop class. I was in a creative writing class where I had a whole class solely dedicated to critiquing my story I had written. While people some people were really critical, some people loved it and it gave me confidence to continue sharing!

kgthoma's picture


Hey Val,
I liked reading your blog post and I really enjoyed the link that you shared. I love that the writer of that article recognizes the two types of writing: cathartic and for mass appeal. I feel that you mainly write for yourself and because you really love to express yourself through words (which is what Kelon is getting at). Words are everything and nothing all at once. Everyone is scared to share their art because you are giving a piece of yourself and putting it on the table for everyone to dissect. I am the same way, I get very overwhelmed which is why I think that it is great that you push yourself and take workshop classes. I have read a lot of your work, poetry and fiction, in the last six months (I love I Will Follow the Sunset, by the way) and you are a great writer! I can't wait to read more.

-Kate Thomas

emilyg's picture



I like that you talked about Kleon's idea of creativity as a function of collaboration. When we begin to see that even within our individual work there is a group influence of some sort, it becomes easier to share. I know that I learn a lot from the work of those around me, so to say I've figured things out on my own is kind of bologna. I also love the idea that amateurs are in love, and so they are willing to do the work and risk looking silly. They say, "Being in love makes a man do crazy things," and I think they're mostly right. Perhaps they were referring also to the amateurs.

ckozma's picture

I really liked your comment

I really liked your comment on Bad Writing and how it helps you grow and get better. Sometimes I feel like in order to write something good first I go out of my way to make my writing bad. It helps me get all of the bad writing out of my system.