Sunday, August 24, 2014

Overcoming Writer's Doubt

“I am participating in the ‘Writing Contest: Overcoming Writer’s Doubt’ held by Positive Writer.”

“I am a Writer!”  Saying that out loud was the first step in becoming one, I read it in a you can write – workbook.  So I tried it, albeit giggling to my husband a few weeks ago.  “Go for it, honey”, he said lovingly, or was it patronizingly.  Hmmm... does he really think I can write?  “What did you think of my blog post” I asked him after my first anonymous entry. It was so real and honest he responded with a half glance at his cell phone.  Hmmm...what does that mean? 

So I forwarded a blog post to my sister.  It was one that I had written about our recent trip to the flea market.  She was very touched and told me that the article had brought tears to her eyes!  That’s good right?  Or is it that it was about her, but that most people would find it boring?

I was an English minor at Bentley College where I majored in Business Communications.  I loved my minor classes that were focused on creative writing, and suffered through my business classes, an obvious mistake in career choices from the beginning.  But all aspects of our lives prepare us for our life’s journey, there is not one perfect path, though most would advise that the fastest way between two points is straight. I took a less direct route.
Now I am stay at home mom of three, taking a small leap, humbling myself for the critique of others, and hoping that I cannot only help myself through this process, but help others.  My first calling if you will, to being a writer occurred after telling my spirited young son a story that I made-up. I  was drawing on a parallel of a child’s energy to lightning’s energy.  I explained how lightning is quite powerful and can be scary if you are standing in the middle of a field with an umbrella! To which my son then began to giggle profusely.  I then said What if you built the tallest building in the world but did not take the proper precautions?  He answered back “the building needs a lightning rod!”  

“That’s right!”  I said, “it’s the same with you, when you have all this bubbling energy!”  

“I have to put on my lightning rod” he said.  The rest of the day when he started to become a little boisterous, and I would begin to give him a warning, he would pretend to put a lightning rod on his head.  I was elated! It was all that I needed to take off running!  I immediately began to make a rough draft of a story for a picture book.  I thought I would make lightning a personality, and use supporting characters such as the sun and rainbow.  

For some reason the story did not make as much sense on paper and so I decided to go to pinterest for inspiration and picture book advice.  The first link I clicked on  warned that the number one mistake picture book writers make are anthropomorphic animals or objects.  Now I pride myself on my vocabulary, however the word anthropomorphic stumped me!  Wikipedia told me that it’s personifying nature, such as hurricanes or earthquakes!  Um hello!  I was just about to make the number one mistake and personify lightning, the sun, and a rainbow.  I have to tell you it stung and doubt began to flood over me.  Should I continue with this dream?  Am I being silly?  Can I even write?  This doubt creaps into my mind very easily.  I am a very sensitive, feeling person, and these characteristics make it easy for me to be deterred.  Parallel to that, I believe that my emotions are what will give me a chance in making my dream a reality.  I will not give up.  I believe in writing a picture book I can possibly talk about some of the relevant issues that I see my kids going through every day. 

In the meantime I keep writing.  I have written on my blog.  I have submitted a few pieces to a couple of contests.  I am still anonymous, which helps me not have to deal with my doubt in a public way, but I am writing. Luckily my next stumble on pinterest in my quest for inspiration was a quote.  “To write something, you have to risk making a fool of yourself.”  Anne Rice.  By just writing and submitting this, I am overcoming doubt, and fear.  So good luck to all of you writers out there.  I did it!  You did it!  For that we should be proud!  And who knows maybe someday I will write that story about lightning with a personality.  Just because it is difficult does not mean it can’t be done, it just means it won’t be easy.  

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