What better to do with yourself in the rain (other than play in it) than write? I've decided that I want to write a book. I've decided this many times, but now...I think, "solo pronto", I am ready.
Since I was in about the second grade, I've wanted to be an arthur, and then later, an author. It took me a while to learn the difference, you see. I had a teacher in fourth grade, Mrs. Baker, that turned me on to poetry and so for a little while, I wanted to be a poet. Nevertheless, I did return to my original desire of writing stories and using my imagination and love for words to reach others. My high school teacher, Ms. Seckinger, made sure that I realized I had potential in this category and I'm thankful to her constantly for being such an incredible teacher!
I am still not quite sure how I made it to be thirty years old without having done anything near writing a book, but here I am, ready to seize the day, tackle the monster, reach for the stars and all that jazz. I just hope I can keep my impatience in check long enough to make this dream of mine a reality.
The key things that hold me back are as follows:
1) Fear of rejection
The first one, I think I've come to accept. Not everyone will accept me for who I am. I'm learning that and also learning to deal with that fact more and more every day. Sure, the thought of having someone read something I've written and say, "That's horrible!" scares the bejesus out of me (and we all know that should be IN me not out of me), but I think I'll survive that because it's to be expected. Again, I am learning this more and more working in the corporate world surrounded mostly by women and not all happy, encouraging, accepting ones.
The second of those is my biggest obstacle. Self-doubt. I believe in myself, until I re-read something I've written. I need a critic. I need an editor of sorts.
How can I find a critic honest enough to actually help me that is not as critical as I am of myself? Obviously, I can't be my own critic because when I am, it all goes in the trash. Who can I trust to be forthcoming with me enough to tell me what I need to hear, but not so critical that I become defensive?
Definitely not my husband. Bless his heart, he'd want to tell me the truth, but he also likes to eat and so therein lies the rub.
My mother-in-law is definitely someone that could fall into the "editor" category, but in the interest of family preservation, I think that one must be passed on as well.
My mother loves me too much and wants only for me to realize my dreams.
My father is just crazy enough to be too crazy for the job.
So that leaves two possibilities. My oldest and dearest friend, April, another aspiring writer, and one of my (unbeknownst to her) mentors, Linda, whom I work with. Of these two, I believe that Linda would be the best fit for the job because not only is she honest and forthcoming when she needs to be, but she's also someone I trust, believe in and I value her opinions and words of wisdom above most others. She is such a rare gem.
April, while definitely a great choice for the job is very busy with life and work and I feel adding to this might be unfair to her at this point. She will however, be one of the few that I share any and ever written word with because her thoughts and opinions matter so much to me!
Hmmph. Sounds to me like I might have just made my choice without having planned on it!
Ok, back on topic: My third obstacle is my impatience. My mother calls it ADD, I call it being focus-challenged (see above paragraphs for reference if needed). Huge difference.
I pick up hobbies, and then drop them like they're scalding hot potatoes. I start projects and then consider them finished at the halfway point. It's not that I don't want to finish them, it is just that they take longer than my attention span allows.
I have countless half-finished scarves for various family members all over my house. I bought all the supplies I needed to paint and decorate a baby chair for my niece for her first birthday; she's 18 months old now. I bought a calligraphy set last year and the practice pad has a total of three A's on it. (No idea where that ran off to.) I tell my husband regularly that it's a huge deal he's made it this long. I ask him all the time how he does it and he just smiles at me.
It's terrible. I'm insufferable to myself! I just have to find ways to renew my interest in my own writing. This is definitely going to be the biggest obstacle I will face while trying to write a book. Whether it's flying through a chapter and then going back over it time and time again to doctor it up or building a timeline that I can work from, I don't know. I guess we shall see.
This is it. It's time I get down to business and stop letting the days slide by me like grains of sand through an hourglass. Writing a book, or not writing a book rather, will NOT be one of my life's biggest regrets.
PS-Linda, you up for the task? I guess I might as well ask!