I've finally changed my website picture and yes, I know, it's about time. The Asian lady may be gorgeous but she's not me.
Why did it take so long? I have a lot of answers.; the best being I couldn't find a half-decent photo to save my life, but I don't think that's the REAL reason. The honest reason is that I like being anonymous and I hate being judged. It's safe keeping the Asian stock photo on the website. No one will know me. Ergo I will never be judged....
When I was a kid I played the piano pretty well. My dad was super-proud and whenever anyone came by the house he'd ask me to play. I would say no and then he'd cajole and cajole until finally I'd relent. Here's the thing and this is important: I wanted to play. Right when he asked, I wanted to say, "Yes. Please. I'll play." But I never did. Not once. The poor guy had to pull teeth to get me to perform.
Why? The reasons are complicated but I'll explain them best I can. Partly, I was shy and wanted to be humble. I didn't want to brag. Because who likes a braggart? But what's wrong with self-promotion? What's wrong with saying I wrote a great book or I play the piano really well? Nothing, right? I mean, think about all the people who have bettered the world by exhibiting their ideas and art. From Margaret Atwood to Stephen King. From Steve Jobs to Coco Channel. Putting stuff out there benefits not only the person who puts it out there but everyone else as well. And it doesn't have to be world-changing or paradigm shifting. It could be entertainment for entertainments sake. The world needs entertainment.
There's another reason I kept quiet. If I said 'no' then screwed up and sucked, I had no pride invested in my performance My dad made me do it. I didn't want to. I belittled my 'art' to stay safe and keep face. I never told any of my friends I played. I placed in classical music competitions and no one but my parents knew.
Writing, like piano, is deeply personal. If you keep quiet; if you hide behind silence or the website software stock photo; if you never show anybody what you can do ,you'll keep your art and yourself safe. I've done that for a long time.