Facing the Dragon

Last year my writing group produced an e-zine. I wrote about it in this blog because it was a big leap for me to submit a piece and read it aloud to an audience of approximately 50 people.

I’m writing about this again because even after a year of writing with and learning from some of the amazing writers in this group, I still froze when asked to submit to the e-zine. I’d produced a large body of work during the year, but none of my drafts seemed remotely ready to be shown to anyone else. For an entire week I read through the pieces and eventually chose two and polished them. For another week I fussed over how unworthy they were and debated not sending. But then something happened and I submitted my prose poems, warts and all.

Ray Wylie Hubbard

I recently saw Ray Wylie Hubbard perform at the Palms in Winters, California. Early in his career, other artists made his mix of country, folk and blues songs famous. He said that at 42, out of fear he’d never performed alone until he read something that changed his life. A friend gave him a book of Rilke poems and this sentence turned his life around:

Our fears are like dragons guarding our most precious treasures. Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 – 1926) 

A scruffy old unshaven mop-haired overweight country singer from Texas spouting Rilke might just have changed my life too. It doesn’t matter whether my work is as good as anyone else’s. What matters is that I faced the dragon.

What precious treasures are your dragons guarding?

 

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