Or so I was told today by a co-worker.
Now, in my blogging, gaming, and general internet-centric life I tend to be rather (as Boostah referred to it once) demonstrative. I don’t know if this is endearing or off-putting. At the very least no one has been rude enough yet to tell me to sit down and shut up when I start going all emo-cat.
For that I am thankful.
I suspect that my demonstrative behavior stems from an (at times) crippling shyness when out and about in what we fondly call the ‘Real World’. Now, I’m not one of those poor souls whose introspective tendencies lend me to a life of unwanted hermitage, nor am I incapable of conducting business as usual and marching down to the bank to demand -in person- where my paycheck went and how it got there.
Nope, for the most part, I’m perfectly capable of operating in normal society.
The waves of uncertainty don’t wash over me until polite conversation goes beyond the weather. When it’s time to actually share opinions, to open up, to learn what others are really about (and by proxy to bare your heart a little too)… that’s when I start to falter.
Where did that stutter come from?
Why’s it suddenly so hot in here?
Internet friends? They must think I’m a looser.
I draw for fun? Have my own comic?
Now I must really look like an idiot.
And then, more often not I slink away, hunch my shoulders, and try to be as unremarkable as possible.
Now, the real meat of this issue begins to reveal itself when I mention that said cowerker used to work at Marvel Comics in New York. After a couple weeks during which I fretted myself to the wire, sure my job was in imminent peril, I was able to strike up a conversation with the man.
The roof didn’t collapse on me.
He didn’t reduce me to a quivering pile of slime with a string of insults and derisive expressions.
The apocalypse did not come, and Hell had certainly not frozen over.
I learned he was a pretty cool guy and *gasp* someone that I might enjoy getting to know a little better.
Well, I figured, I had grilled him about his time in New York, demanded his life’s story and the story of how in the world he ended up here, of all places, and even got to gauge his nerd-factor a bit.
Now it was my turn.
I mentioned that I draw a webcomic and he came alive. I gave him the link, and I proceeded to spend the next night or two in knots.
What was I doing? This was a story I’ve been working on since college, one of the races in the story had begun taking shape in Junior High! This thing was old to me, and I had put my heart and soul into it.
At the core, I love to tell stories.
He asked all kinds of questions the next day, after first proclaiming how much he loved what little I had put out.
My answer, however, was simple. I have no aspirations, simply a love of telling stories, and this one in particular. I’m notoriously bad at keeping my own deadlines, so my only goal was continued work, and pages would be finished when they were ready.
Today he complained, jokingly, that I was such a tease, releasing pages so slowly.
It’s a different feeling when you are working on something for yourself only, as opposed to knowing someone is watching. It’s the difference between singing in the shower, and being under the glare of the lights on opening night.
Odd, when all things are considered, that I have rarely gotten stage fright. I am only afraid when telling the truth.
And that is probably why I fear for Lamentation. This story, fantastic that it may be, is still nothing less than the truth. I write about truths of the heart and the mind. The characters may not be real, but their feelings and their thoughts most definitely are.
The best stories are ones that speak to us of Truth, weather those truths are hard or easy, happy or sad, we see these Truths reflected within us. That is why I write, why I blog, why I do anything that I consider worthwhile.
Everything is a quest to find the Truth within myself.
I am flattered, beyond words, that there is at least one person who thinks this story I’m trying to tell is interesting. My words at time may not be very eloquent, and my artistic ability may not be enough to truly convey what I want, but I am trying my best.
So, if you enjoy reading what I’ve written here, I’m inviting you all to see what I’ve drawn for my story, Lamentation.
Meanwhile, I will try to work harder, and pick up the pace 🙂