Double Exposure

At the time of writing this, thanks to those of you who generously donated your words, I have raised $395 for The Pablove Foundation.  48 of you sent me a fictional story, poem or memory inspired by a simple picture of an ice cream cone taken by a child living with cancer. 48 of you carved out time from your busy schedules and pledged your words, trusting your voice and risking sharing.

I am so grateful to those of you who participated. 

Plus it was such a treat for me to read the contributions landing daily… each expression unique and interesting. If you haven’t already, have a browse through the comments from the Incentive posts. There are far more than 31 flavours!

With every new comment that arrived, I sensed a community gathering.

This was always my intention for the blog and for Write To Be You. Writing only in isolation can feel extremely lonely. While writing and sharing, linking words like hands, has the collective potential to nourish your soul and expand your outlook. But with that nourishment comes the threat of exposure, and I realized over the last 2 weeks, that many of my readers didn’t join in my fundraising campaign for fear of feeling over exposed. The realization saddened me. I want to emphasize here that any contribution to the site can be submitted anonymously. You can even invent a fabulous nom de plume and waltz your words around the screen with abandon, cleverly disguised by your daring alter ego.

But more importantly, I’d like to propose that some level of exposure is vital to the creative process and integral to growth.

Think old school SLR cameras. The shutter has to open, even briefly, in order to catch a flash of light and imprint the image onto the film. Human beings are not so different. A little exposure can go a long way. Can you break free of your ‘not a writer’ persona and write anyway? Can you give yourself permission to play with words or thoughts and discard the looming fear of being compared or judged?

Can you allow yourself to develop?

Somewhere in the script of my childhood I repeatedly heard the line, “people don’t change.” I am here to contest that notion. I absolutely believe in the power of subtle transformation. Not necessarily sweeping leaps of faith… but small skips in alternate directions. Hushed murmurs like butterfly wings, powerful because they are intricately bold rather than overbearing.

So open the shutter.

Capture a surprising aspect of yourself. Some of the most intriguing photographs are double exposures, randomly stolen moments, immortalized by mistake. Why are these images so captivating? Because they reveal that two things can exist at the same time. You don’t have to define yourself with only limited parameters. Writing is not only for ‘writers’. Creativity is available to everyone.

Demand that the uptight, hard assed teacher living inside of you put down her red pen and experiment with some other colors for once. And while she’s distracted, discard your uniform, skip through the hallways and release your words into the world.

The butterflies are waiting.

PS.If you didn’t get around to donating words for one reason or another, my deadline is up, but you can always go directly to the Pablove site and donate $10 yourself. Every little bit counts…

Are you afraid of exposure? Where does the fear stem from? Can you break through the fear and explore writing something? Anything? Be gentle on yourself. If you don’t want to be too revealing, invent a name and see what words come. Equally, if you have reaped the benefits of exposure, please share!


Create a character who resists change. Write an outline of this person and notice how you feel about them as you write. Think about their backstory. What and who has shaped them?


5 Responses to “Double Exposure”

  1. Erin
    July 9, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    How cool that the Incentive was such a success! That is truly awesome. Yay!

    I’ve enjoyed writing in blog format for a while now, but on my last site, I focused on non-personal topics (book reviews) and revealed very little about myself. My new site is slowly teaching me to open up and be more authentic. And, I must say, your posts and prompts and the safe, encouraging space you create here have helped! Thank you for your ongoing coaxing 🙂

    • Rory Green
      July 10, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

      You are most welcome, Erin! I appreciate your support so much and I love your contributions. Also, as you know, your blog is also inspiring me so the feeling is mutual!

  2. Florence Tangerine
    July 10, 2012 at 2:38 am #

    If Only And Always

    The cold musty smell of a past time SLR.
    When will I be remembered?

    A new Polaroid re-invented.
    What about me?

    I’m almost done, almost gone, almost forgotten –

    But I think it’s almost my time to shine
    for the last century to say goodbye…

  3. sophie james
    July 10, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

    Thank you, Rory, for your beautiful words. I have noticed in my own writing that it is only when we ‘tell the truth’ – however that reveals itself – that other people respond. It’s as if on some cellular level, we know when someone is opening themselves up to us, and when they are ‘performing’ in some way – there is a safety to it, a blase energy we detect and are wary of. Even the tiniest movement, the smallest glimpse of our inner life, is a huge gift to others. We help ourselves, and those around us, when we let people in. Thanks again Rory. xx

    • Rory Green
      July 12, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

      Sophie, I wholeheartedly agree! Thank you for your comment and your honesty.

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