Hi, my name’s Eteya, and I have a sharing problem.
If you’ve ever met me, this will come at no surprise. I can be shy, even aloof, especially around new people. It means I’ve spent a lot of time by myself, writing stories and dreaming away. It also means, when it comes to sharing those stories, I clam up. Putting my work out there has been a big source of nerves, making it harder to submit to opportunities and give my stories a chance to be heard. Recently, I've seen that sharing is something I personally owe my story. If I spend months of focus and years of craft on writing a play, that play deserves my equal effort to get it to an audience, to fulfill its true purpose in the world.
This is not a mindset I've arrived at alone. Andy J Pizza, an illustrator and podcast host, talks about the sharing problem in terms of the Hero’s Journey – an artist goes on an epic quest to find the creative elixir, the gift that will save the world. They go through trials and errors to deepen their craft. They even enter the belly of the whale to find the perfect elixir. But then, once they’ve gotten it, they have to bring it back to the ordinary world. This is where I struggle.
Andy’s podcast, Creative Pep Talk, has a small series on this Creative Elixir metaphor that's been a huge help for me. If you haven’t listened to Andy before, I can’t recommend him enough – he gets me motivated to create, and even more surprising, excited to grow my art with a business mindset. What can I say, I’m a huge Pepperoni.
I’m also super inspired by Austin Kleon’s writings – he has a whole book dedicated to the practice of sharing your work. He has amazing tips and tricks for the shy, marketing-averse artist like me (and maybe you). My favorite advice of his is to open up your cabinet of curiosities - something I intend to do on this blog.
Last but not least, I’ve been hugely inspired by the amazing efforts of my theater peers and heroes. In the midst of a global pandemic, theater has moved online to adapt to a virtual stage, hardly imaginable before the shelter-in-place order was given. It’s opened up our accessibility and transformed our art. My fellow theater artists have given me so much hope.
So, with all this inspiration in mind, I’m embarking on my quest to share my work. Hopefully, my combined efforts will be enough exposure therapy to make it that much easier. I think, as I come out of the shadows and learn to stand in the sunshine, I'll discover that it's worth it. Thanks for joining me on this journey.
I am working on wanting to be seen