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Ask Baba Yaga: How Do I Get Over the Shame I Feel For My Work?
Transcript after the jump.
Dear Baba Yaga,
For years I have been working on a project that I detest. I am ashamed of its quality, and that I did not listen to my gut and pursue work that I loved. Soon I will be publicly associated with this work, including having to present it to a group of people I admire. I just want to put this episode behind me and learn from it, but I am terrified that I will be too traumatized by the public presentation to do any meaningful work once it is done. How can I minimize feeling ashamed and paralyzed?
You have been hauling ) an ugly boulder behind you for a long time . To show it
to others, to say, “here is a boulder” is not to tie it closer to you, & when you leave it by the side of the road ; it will just be another boulder, no uglier (in truth) than any other, & few will take notice of it. :For the boulder has become many more things to you than it is in itself–you have seen faces & shapes in its surfaces that are not there, & once you are far away from it you will stop giving life to it, & it will be pebbly & still in the distance.
Taisia Kitaiskaia is a poet, writer, and Michener Center for Writers fellow. She’s taking questions on behalf of Baba Yaga at AskBabaYaga@gmail.com.