To really write well you have to put yourself out there. Use your own history and experiences to create characters, to tell a story, to satirize, to meditate on a theme, to tell the truth. It's something I struggle with, especially after my parents decided to dig deep enough into the internet, find my blog and Twitter account, and tell me how much I'd offended them. The first incident was more than three years ago and I'd really hoped they'd just moved on from it and realized that this is just the way it is if you daughter chooses to be a writer. The second was this morning.
Initially, I panicked. Would I have to go deep underground? Start another blog under yet another new identity? Start censoring myself on Twitter? But thankfully, it took me only about thirty minutes to calm down, respond to my parents in a measured, rational fashion, and get right back on the horse. I can't be a writer if I have to stop and consider what my parents will think of my subject matter or me every time I hit publish. Letting go of that need for approval is one more step toward being an artist. It's also another sacrifice and one I need to make immediately.
My parents can respect my choice, or they can keep wishing I was more like them. I've decided to embrace who I am.