Yes, I've been a closet writer.
But not that kind of closet writer! Thankfully, I don't have to resort to writing in my walk-in (although I'm sure some days I'd actually get more writing done if I did hide out among the stacks of sweaters.)
What I really am is the kind of writer who spends years crafting books, but never tells anyone about my writing pursuits other than my family. They know of my secret life and the hours I spend on my lap top making up stories, but that's as far as it goes. Every once in a while one of the children will slip up in public and talk about my writing, but I can usually cover it up with a quick, "O-o-oh that's nothing."
What drove me into the closet? I'm not a psychologist. I leave the psycho-analyzing to my counselor husband. But I'm guessing that fear of failure is what pushed me to the dark corners of a hidden writing life.
Let's face it, fear of failure is a very real emotion for most of us. Often we're afraid to tell people about our writing endeavors because we think then we'll have to prove to them we're good enough. We dread hearing THE question, "So. . . what have you published?" And we duck our heads in shame and mumble, "Uh, nothin' yet."
We scramble to explain why we spend so much time writing when we're not published. And we eventually get embarrassed often enough that we decide we'd rather NOT tell anyone about the passion that pushes us to write. We know we'd keep writing even if we never got published, but how can anyone except another a writer understand that?
Then. . .we head to the closet. It's easier there. No pressures, no awkward questions, no raised eyebrows. We plop into our swivel chairs, sigh a solitary but serene breath, and revel in the pleasure of our secret writing life.
I've done most of my writing in the closet. Except for a few close friends and family, most people in my every day life have been completely oblivious of my passion for writing. Come back on Wednesday as I share reactions of friends and acquaintances as I begin to come out of the closet.
For today I'd love to hear your experiences! Have you ever been a closet writer? What drove you there? And if you have been open with everyone about your writing, how have you managed to handle the fear-of-failure syndrome?