There comes a point in one’s career, when one is standing before a video camera wearing naught but a towel, pearls, a shower cap, and a pair of long white gloves, that one must ask oneself, “Self, are you prepared to make a cake of yourself in front of all and sundry in the name of entertainment?”
Now, if the answer is no, then please be assured, one will not be thought less of. In fact, one may very well be thought more of for having a care for one’s dignity.
But if the answer is yes, well, press record and get on with the business of cake-making!
This may come as a surprise, but I faced this exact scenario not one week ago (uncanny, I know!). Myself and the four other 2011 Regency Golden Heart finalists had joined forces and decided to donate a partial manuscript critique for Brenda Novak’s Annual Auction for the Cure of Diabetes. To get the word out, we made a silly little video. As I stood there in my towel and pearls, I couldn’t help but wonder—was this the sort of thing that would come back to haunt me decades from now, when I was a fabulously rich and famous author?
The answer, of course, was yes—this was exactly the sort of thing that would somehow resurface at the worst possible time, like when I was receiving my Presidential National Achievement award, or accepting my Pulitzer, or upon my nomination to be the official chronicler of the first colony on Mars. (What? Like those aren’t on your bucket list!)
But even knowing this, I still pressed ‘record.’
Why? Because I’ve already bared my very soul as a writer, pouring my heart into every word I put on the page. I’ve revealed myself in a thousand ways, through my novels, my blog posts, on Twitter and Facebook. I’ve written of my family, and falling in love, and of reaching for my dreams. I’ve shared my personal insecurities, my overseas adventures, and even my grief the day my cat passed away.
And on June 5th, my soul will be laid bare for the whole world to see when my debut novel, More than a Stranger, finally hits the shelves. Without ever setting out to do so, I put all of me—the real me—out there for anyone to see with every word, every sentence, and every paragraph. I hadn’t meant to do so, it just sort of . . . happened. I already know that the bad reviews will cut to my core, and the good will surely bring joy, because so much of me is in the book.
So really, pressing record and letting the world see me as a bit of a dunce is really no big deal—just add it to the list of things my ancestors will be able to use to piece together the portrait of me :)
(PS ancestors: just remember the video was for charity!)
So tell me: Do you feel that you know something of an author by what she writes? Do you feel that part of you is in whatever you write? And really, would you turn down the opportunity to chronicle the first colony on Mars??