A few years ago I found myself dreaming of doing more with my writing. I wanted to be a writer but I couldn't seem to get passed the dreaming phase and on to the actual writing.
Like so many people I was stuck until I accepted that no matter the outcome, I would never know what it was like to be a writer without actually trying. I had to give up being afraid of the challenge of writing, the rejection, and just do it.
I share this in hopes that someone out there will understand that they are not alone in their fear of chasing down their dreams, finding their spark, and doing what makes them happy. Please enjoy Shut Up and Write.
I admit it, I have a hard time believing in myself. Even though I am pretty sure I have some valuable skills, I have this inner fear of actually doing something with those skills.
I know I am a writer. I do it in my sleep! I wake up with a full novel in my head, ponder it for a bit as I move through the morning motions and dismiss it just like I did the morning before. I can write. But…. I don't.
In fact, I am pretty sure that if I could just chain myself to my desk for about a month and not watch TV, get distracted by Facebook, Words with Friends, or Etsy, I could finish a full novel, rewrite it, and have ideas for the next one plotted out.
But I don't… I just know that it's there and don't let it go any further. Why?
I think one of the reasons that I love blogging is because I have the ability to keep my attention on my writing for a limited time and then move on to the next thought or project. I envy those that can focus on the project and see it to completion.
My aunt Toby is an incredible writer. She has this ability to tell a wonderful story and capture the reader into her world. Her books are well written and inspiring. Best of all.. they are published! Yes, she actually has a following of fans who have read her books and can't wait for the next ones to come out. I listen to her stories about writing and the process of publication and part of me is jealous ( in a good way ) of her challenges and progress. I LOVE hearing about the cover art, the rewrites, and the book signings. Even though there is another part of me screaming of how terrifying that must be!
She can write. She is a writer. But more than that… she has put her passion to work and hasn't hidden her talent. She is an inspiration!
So what stops me? What stops any of us from leaving the comforts of the everyday and becoming something different?
As much as my inner author screams “Yes yes yes! Do it! Write and be FREE!” there is almost as much chatter from the fearful side of me that sees change as a horrendous tornado coming in my direction and about to throw everything up in the air knowing I won't be able to catch it all!
I have this conversation regularly actually. What is stopping me from writing a book?
The answer is, I don't actually know. Fear?
Fear of actually completing this project and then turning it over for someone else to read and judge?
What if everyone hates it? How will I deal with the critics?
I know that is part of the process and one of the biggest bone shaking fears I have… what if I am really terrible and I am just standing up there in front of the judges like an oddball American Idol contestant with no clue that I have NO talent at all.
I am just up there singing my little heart out and waiting for them to tell me I am a super star and when I open my heart and let them in they just sit there in horror. Their eyes wide with fright as they struggle to find the right words to try to describe what I just did in front of them.
Somehow I have failed to see that weekly I pour out to the open public my blog filled with mental ramblings that have ripped free from the dock and floated out into the view of the world and nobody YET has mentioned that I should cut off my own fingers and stop writing.
Meh… that's different!
I can do this… sorta, right after this blog, facebook, words with friends, and hey.. look.. it's Etsy!