Cappella dei Pazzi (Pazzi Chapel), where Luca della Robbia designed the dome under the portico. Ben Rimmer/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 With my first book one month out from publication, I now understand why many writers choose to be recluses. It’s frightening to open up your work—your heart—to criticisms and equally frightening to open it up to interpretation. You as artist want to maintain fidelity to your vision, and facing an onslaught of reactions, no matter their tone or tenor, can scramble the air waves. To share your art is to release control over it. It now belongs to the beholder, and the release can bring terror, peace, joy—sometimes all at the same time. For myself, I’m grappling with the slow acceptance that in mere weeks, people I don’t know (read: people much more likely to offer their honest and unvarnished opinion) are going to be reading and reacting to a little book I’ve spent 15 years of my life creating. I was in my early 20s, single, and living at my parents’ house whe
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