It's the first Wednesday of the month again! You know what that means! It's time to convene another meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Our esteemed leader is the one and only Alex J. Cavanaugh. His minion helpers for this month are Lauren Hennessy, Lisa Buie-Collard, Lidy, Christine Rains, and Mary Aalgaard.
Be sure to check out the IWSG website!
I didn't feel like sharing an insecurity this month. Instead, I wanted to share a story that I think at least a few of you may find inspiring. The incident in this story shaped me and the way I look at the world, even though the catalyst for that shift seems relatively small.
It must have been early 2010. I was working in a plastic injection molding factory at the time, and I did a wide variety of things during my time there. On the day in question, I was working on a line that assembled fancy storage drawers for washers and dryers. The machine that produced the main part of the drawers was about the size of a semi, by the way. It was a truly impressive, and loud, piece of machinery. Trust me on that.
Anyway, my job that night was to pop the front panel on to the drawer, and we were using painted front panels. The front panels were made in the same factory, but we had to ship them out if they needed to be painted. As such, I had no clue who else handled them while they were outside the factory where I worked, and it wasn't something I typically thought about. However, when I picked up one panel in particular, something caught my eye. Curious, I stopped and studied it. Someone involved in the painting process had drawn in red pen an elaborate, absolutely beautiful flower on the back side of it.
I was stunned. The artistry was gorgeous, and I felt guilty that I had to pop it on to this plastic drawer where it would forever be hidden away. The person who ultimately bought this drawer would have no idea about the gorgeous image hidden away inside it. I spent all of fifteen seconds looking at it, but I spent the rest of that day at work thinking about it. Who had drawn it? Did they want to eventually turn art into a career, or was it simply a fun way to pass the time? And looking around me, I started to wonder if there were hidden pieces of beauty around me that I'd never see.
Six years later, I still think about that hidden flower. Anyone who writes something or does any kind of art but laments the small size of their audience should consider this. You never know what kind of impact your work might have on one of the people that does see it. The person who drew that flower will likely never know how that hidden drawing impacted me and the way I look at the world, but it did. I'll continue to put my work out there, even though there are times when I feel frustrated and invisible. I don't know if my writing will inspire anyone, but maybe it will. Who knows? That possibility motivates me every day.