Confession: I’m A Fraud

In creative writing, we sometimes have workshops where each person reads one of their works and then gets feedback on it from the whole class. Twice now, I’ve made excuses in order to get out of reading my own work and gotten someone else to read it for me. I have no problem with my work being torn apart on paper–paint my poems, short stories, and essays in red ink and I’ll have a field day. When it comes to attaching my voice to my projects, though, I falter. Half of the reason is, yes, because I’m a child who doesn’t like the pressure of putting myself out there in that way, and that’s the half that makes me a fraud; I don’t want to speak but I want to be heard.

The other half, though? The other half is because I’m egotistical enough to think that my work deserves a better mouthpiece than myself. I’m not quite egotistical enough to call myself a “writer,” but I write–I don’t act, I don’t speak, I don’t have a natural talent for telling stories vocally. And I think that the person who reads my writing out loud should be able to do all of those things.

And there is the paradox: I am simultaneously self-obsessed and self-deprecating.

I don’t know whether it’s because I accept my weaknesses or because I am too afraid to work on them. At what point do you say, “I am just not great at this thing and would rather have someone else do it for me?” Should you ever say that?

At any rate, I think maybe I’ll actually read during our next workshop. I’m currently 2/4 for times when I read and times when I copped out. I’d be content ending the school year with 3/5. -L


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