On the book of Face, a friend tagged me last week in this writer share for “SEVEN THINGS TO KNOW” about me as a writer. After thinking about it for several hours, I shared seven things. I was surprised by the comments I received on the thread and the messages I received pertaining to that post.
One particular friend made some rather astute observations. These observations made me ponder for quite a while and I’ve come to the conclusion that they are absolutely accurate. I’ve taken these to heart, to work on improving my writing and publishing dreams. Sometimes the truth is hard to hear, but it is empowering.
Here are the seven things I shared:
1. I am an OCD perfectionist. I get my outline down and think: yeah this is a good story. I start writing at lightning speed. I hit a point at about 15 to 20k and think: this is a crap story. Then I go back to the beginning and start editing. I know, I know I – write first edit second. But the self-doubt becomes insurmountable and I go back to the beginning and edit and cringe, edit cringe, then get to the point where I am caught up on writing the next part – then I can continue.
2. My first published pieces were in an anthology book to support Backstoppers after 9/11. one was a poem (not my forte at all) the other a short essay. (1500 words)
3. Recently my husband and I sorted through our books trying to reduce them. We have four bookshelves, 3 boxes, and numerous stacks of books. We sorted them into categories and I discovered writing books I had forgotten that I had. (YAY) He told me I have a problem and needed to get rid of some of them. After careful consideration, I decided on 2 that can be passed on, and twelve of my children’s books that they have outgrown – with their approval of course. He hung his head, shaking it and said ” You really do have a problem. You know there is a show on TV about such things as this called Hoarders?” I then pointed to the stack of books (14 to be exact – 12 of the kids and 2 of mine) to get rid of, to which he pointed to my stack of writing books and resource books. “You don’t really need all those. Aren’t some of those practically duplicates?” (I honestly don’t know but I am on a new mission to reread these books and pass on those that aren’t great or are duplicates.) He speaketh writer blasphemy!!
4. My love of storytelling began before I ever went to kindergarten. I would stage shows for my grandmother using my dolls and tell wild tales to which she informed my mother that I was the ‘devil’s child’ because one of my doll’s either died or had to go to jail. (It was always Bebe, because she looked evil like one of those antique dolls, and had really short pink and white hair, and I knew she was possessed. – TRUE STORY)
5. I have a public speaking gig this Saturday on – of all things – self-esteem. HA! Oh the irony is rich! I’ve read that more people are afraid of public speaking than of dying – which is ridiculous. As a writer, I think there is something egotistical in us that thinks people need to hear what we have to say. Most often that is translated into books but I have no issue standing in front of a crowd and talking. It’s easy – make them laugh before you go for the gut punch. I guess it helps that I am a bit of the stand up comedienne as well.
6. I took an online correspondence course from Long Ridge, my mentor was Louise Marley – fantastic lady that really knows her stuff! Oddly enough it was a gift from my mother, who never approved of my writing dreams while she was alive and in the final days signed me up for this course. I think this course was pivotal and the encouragement from Louise gave me the boost I needed to dust off those shelved dreams of mine.
7. I have clearly defined dreams and goals with my writing. The internal conflict between the rejection issues and the egotism that I KNOW I can write a damn good book, and why in the H*** won’t publishers see that versus the ” This sucks, I am a crap writer that is chasing rainbows and writing garbage that shouldn’t see the light of day” gives me a particular edge in writing internal conflict – if I can just get the time to write them down and get them out of my head. I haven’t given up on my dreams. I did that once and it nearly killed me. Never again!
Knowing these things is one step forward to ending my self sabotaging ways. In reviewing these things and the observations of my wise and professional friend I am moving closer to the finish line of one of my goals.
The hours of grueling training are never seen. The time that is put into practicing is an investment. I may not win every event I enter or even finish in the top three, but each one is a step closer to my ultimate dreams.
The vision of those dreams and goals are what pushes me forward, to keep reaching and never give up. Sometimes we need the pep talk while at other times we need the coach pushing us to do more than we are comfortable with.
Sitting on the sofa watching life is comfortable but not nearly as satisfying as living life!
Write on my friends, write on!