Over the past year I have discovered that writing is alot like singing. Both require courage, creativity, and expression.
As most of you know, I'm a singer by trade. I'll never forget my first voice lesson. Mrs. V., a fiesty little Italian, stood by the piano exuding poise and grace. I hesitated at the door, my heart in my throat. Here I was, nineteen and never having so much as a chirped a note in front of anyone, and now I had the bright idea to take voice lessons.
Her dark eyes twinkled; she motioned for me to stand next to the baby grand as she took her seat behind the keys. A simple arpeggio sounded in the room. "Sing," she said.
I froze. My eyes never made it past the edge of the Steinway (which mercifully served as a barrier). She knowingly smiled, stood, and led me to the corner.
"Small steps, little one. Sing to the wall until you find your voice," she patted my shoulder and walked away. The arpeggio sounded once more. I focused on a chip missing from concrete and took a deep breath, my voice not making it past my ears.
For several months I sang to the corner. I was always amazed that Mrs. V. never grew discouraged, that she never doubted my abilities. Finally, I found the courage to turn and finish the aria facing windows that overlooked the campus.
"Molto bene," she said, her pride apparent.
"I feel like I'm walking naked." I admitted, blushing at her laughter.
"This is a good thing. Embrace these feelings, for in them we learn to express, to grow."
It wasn't until I watched the UPS truck driving away, the very first copy of Asteria still wrapped in its package, that the feeling of walking naked resurfaced. The strength of it was a little unsettling, and I realized that for over a year now I have been staring at a different wall, yet again gathering strength to share my voice with the world.