I never reread what I write.
I understand actors that don’t like to watch their own work; and I don’t blame them. Because really: who would want to relive something they’ve already put on display, for others to critique — and are now left to conjure their own notes? I thought the hard part was over, facing the crippling fears, and all.
It is a bit naïve to believe there is some sort of m a g i c or mystery around leaving things we know we’ve put out there alone. We already know that all bets are off when we leave others in charge of our ideas and thoughts, letting them decide what bullet we should have struck them with when loading. (Well, we did pull the trigger, so we can’t ignore if they are). So, why add to the anxiety with our own second-thoughts?*
*also, I really just can’t read my own handwriting sometimes.
Taylor Swift had to have been very calculated when making her journals public — let alone turning them into a whole ass album — because I don’t know if I’d be as quick to hit that red button and launch my deepest thoughts…like, d e e p thoughts into the world like that. Why? For another self-reflection-turned-critique opportunity? (We can’t compare me to Taylor Swift, she’s just that good).
I’m already a bit shy to reread whatever I write to myself; let alone unveil my vulnerabilities to other vulnerable people that aren’t too shy with the opinionated notes. This just ruins the sanctity of journals and diaries! If things were worth reliving, I’d be reliving instead of writing about it.
I wonder if the same insecurites apply to authors recording their audiobooks. They had premeditations and critiques from their editors, and now have to deliver problems as polished, and try to make us readers get it?
*in the recording booth*
Studio Engineer: Hey yeah great stuff, but could we go over that Depression chapter again; and make sure to annunciate this time, thanks!
This facing moment must be the equivalent to hearing yourself on audio for the first time, being reminded of yet another thing that you don’t want anyone getting a glimpse of, ever.
Do I really sound like that?You
There are so many vulnerabilities we face, and throwing in the voice we thought was safe from scrutiny, our own, makes for a very literal realization: we all have a voice, we are all vulnerable; but what can we decide stays on paper? And is there any true realness in our life’s monologue if we think someone is always listening?
I’m convinced that we are always rehearsing for an audience — polishing ourselves — so we really can’t be too surprised when the reviews come in. But: is everyone a critic, or just ourselves?
Maybe there is some literality in life being an open book, there always has been…
…and some of us just have some really good editors.