Okay, so lets get right down the nitty-gritty — Why? Why show your creative efforts? Why share what you make or write or photograph or weave or cook or digitally cobble together? What’s the point? Can’t you be a photographer or a writer or a web designer or a weaver or a painter or a code writer or teacher without sharing your talents with others? Nope, sorry, you can’t. Without sharing you are just a shlub in the dark, a lowly, squirmy, four-toed, slightly moist shlub in the dark. And no one wants to be a shlub in the dark, trust me.
Anyone with a talent has to share that talent because of what I call the “Burden of Talent.” I am sure others have referred to this concept with more elegance than I but I will do it with my characteristic bluntness; if you have a gift, a talent, a skill, no matter how small you think it is, it is necessary that you share it with others.
This is why: Talent is a gift — a magical blending of genetic code or a whisper from the gods on high, it doesn’t matter how you consider it — it is a blessing in every sense. When the gift is received (and when is it ever refused?) so is the responsibility to share this rare and wonderful part of you. This is how your world, this is how our world becomes a better place, one blessing at a time. How your talents are received by others, I cannot say, but that is not the point. The power is in the sharing, the goodness is in the blessing.
I have a great friend who puts words to paper with such emotion and truth that I envy her words whenever I read them. The words are from her heart and a wonderful heart it is but she shares her heart with a very, very few. She writes about both the profane and the profound and does so with such passion and with such openness that it seems she is speaking directly to your own heart.
What comments she has received on her writing have all been supportive, even pleading for more and yet she feels that most her thoughts are not worthy, that her words not polished enough. It is a shame because her words could do such good if more could read them. Our world will be a darker place if she does not add her light to our path ahead. Her words will shine one day, shine brighter than most, they are beginning to now but it has been a long time coming. It is time she share her talent. It is time she become a writer.
So how? So where? Anyhow. Anywhere. Put your work up in your office, bathroom, cellar, it doesn’t matter. Write on a wall, in a blog, in a community newsletter, in a tweet, anywhere will do. Cook for friends, sing to your children, sew for the poor, dance in the park. Anyhow. Anywhere. People will see, read, taste, feel, experience you, your talent and they will benefit. Give someone the courage to do what you are doing, the courage to share. Tell them that failure means nothing, it is the sharing that counts and then go prove it to yourself.
I have talents that I have tried to develop and share. None are profound and none will change the world. My talents are more workmanlike than wondrous. I can play the guitar and the autoharp and I can just barely sing on tune and yet I have stood on stage in front of 300 people and entertained them as best I could for an evening of song and music. I can write and have written with modest success producing books and papers that make me content but my words rarely soar and my images rarely sing like many others who I read and see regularly. I can’t draw or cook, can’t paint or weave, can’t really sing or certainly dance but I’ve gotten by and made a good life doing the best I can with what talents I’ve got.
You are no different. You have talents, perhaps the same, perhaps different than mine, likely better than mine, but talents none-the-less. What are you doing with yours? If they are in a dark place deep inside you it is time you let in the light and share them with your world. If they are out but unsteady it is time you shore them up and brace them for the accolades ahead. And if they are out and glowing it is time you shared your sharing skills and helped others shine.
I’ve been called a writer and I’ve been called a photographer and I couldn’t be prouder but it is only because I’ve shared. I’m not that special. I share the simple, I share the everyday, I share the ordinary, I share the mundane. It is not what you share so much as it is the act of sharing that makes you a writer, a photographer, a cook, a preacher, a mother, a brother, a friend, a better person.
It is your talent that in part defines you as a person. It is the sharing of your talents that enriches you as a human. Don’t hide your talents. They are worthy.