I have — from time to time — received some negative feedback for talking, writing, and speaking about my work. If it can be compared to work that others have done, so the critique goes, then it’s not new. This has even gone so far as to push me into silence. Pretty common story.
But the thing is, of course it’s different. If the work runs through me, then it runs through all of my preconceptions and notions of the world. It is new. Furthermore, and quite importantly, speaking out about the work contains the power to rouse others to action. It compels other to act, too.
Charles Darwin had a similar notion when he wrote
To do good unto others — to do unto others as ye would they should do unto you — is the foundation-stone of morality. It is, therefore, hardly possible to exaggerate the importance during rude times of the love of praise and the dread of blame. A man who was not impelled by any deep, instinctive feeling to sacrifice his life for the good of others, yet was roused to such actions by a sense of glory, would by his example excite the same wish for glory in other men, and would strengthen by exercise the noble feeling of admiration.
Constructionism also taps into this, but in a different way: sharing the things that we’re doing helps us learn — moreso than just doing the thing itself — in addition to having the capacity to rouse others to action.
So, don’t let people silence you, or make you feel bad about sharing your work. Do the work, yes, but also share it. Never quiet down.