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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Not a sharer

  • Don’t panic. When I say I’m “not a sharer,” I don’t mean I bite other kids who try to play with my toys or anything like that.
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  • Don’t panic. When I say I’m “not a sharer,” I don’t mean I bite other kids who try to play with my toys or anything like that.
    In this case, I mean poetry.
    I’ve been participating in a poem-a-day challenge for about a month now, and I’m doing fairly well. (In the sense that I’m have a poem written for every day I’ve participated. Not in the sense that I’ve written poetry that’s any good.)
    Everyone else in the group is on Facebook with daily posts of the work they’ve done.
    Personally, I’m the lurker of the group. I click the “like” button often. Sometimes I leave comments. (I only know the lady who started the group, so I’ve been too shy to interact much with all of these strangers.) But never do I share any of my own poems. If you saw them, you would understand.
    This is also partly because all of these people are posting the poems they write every day, and let me tell you, they’re good. It’s the sort of stuff that even on my best day, I want to take my poem and quietly slide it under a rug somewhere. Let’s not even compare them to the days where I’m too tired to hack anything other than a goofy limerick.
    Still, I’m not really a huge fan of sharing my writing. (I know, I know. This coming from the girl with a weekly column. My only defense is, it’s a different sort of writing.)
    A writer friend of mine used to dominate conversations with talk of her most recent projects. For me, “What’s your story/novel about?” was a question that caused no small amount of anxiety on my part. Especially when I opened my mouth to answer and anything that came out sounded stupid.
    I’ve emailed writing to friends before, but typically the sort of friends I never have to see face to face. And I certainly don’t want to witness someone in the act of reading anything I produced. When I first started working at a newspaper, I used to have to write my articles at home for fear anyone in the office might look over my shoulder and see my work.
    Well, maybe someday I’ll get over it. In the meantime, just pretend you didn’t read this.

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