My favorite parts in the 2018 movie Eighth Grade are when the protagonist Kayla speaks directly to the camera while recording her inspirational YouTube videos.
The one I love the most is on Putting Yourself Out There. Unfortunately there isn’t a clip of that scene online, but here’s Kayla’s take on it:
‘There’ could be anywhere that you wouldn’t usually go, you know, maybe because its like weird, or scary or … something like that. Okay. And now you’re probably thinking like, you know, well, why would I want to go to somewhere like that??
Why would I want to go somewhere like that? is how I’ve been feeling ever since I first had the idea to start this newsletter multiple months ago. It does feel weird, and scary. And the gremlin voices saying Why would anyone want to listen to you? What do you even have to say? can get real loud.
But then, that’s what I wanted Be Your Own Hero to be about — going to the weird, scary places (and why should someone’s In box feel so scary?) when it’s in service of greater connection, and acknowledging that it takes real courage, but not the kind that often gets noticed.
So here I am. Putting Myself Out There to you, Dear Reader. Hopefully with you as we take this journey together. And if you haven't yet seen Eighth Grade, you should. Because Kayla is definitely a Be Your Own Hero kind of person. She tries, fails, puts herself out there, falls down, keeps putting herself out there, gets hurt, lashes out at people who love her, but ultimately prevails her own way by being the kind of person she can be proud of and we can too. It’s beautiful and heart-wrenching in all the best ways.
You just need to put yourself out there and like, face your fears and let people know the real you. And it doesn’t matter if you’re scared, because everyone is going to be scared.
What I’m Reading
I’m currently reading Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshopping, by Matthew Salesses, and it is blowing my mind. Even though I write almost exclusively nonfiction, I am madly underlining and I’m only halfway through. His premise, that writing craft is the product of cultural expectations, seems so obvious, yet I’ve never heard anyone talking about it this way.
When was the last time you put yourself out there? Did it feel weird and scary? Leave a comment and let me know. Or, if that feels too, well, weird and scary, you can always just hit Reply. Thanks for reading!