July 25, 2011 10:04 am EDT
How many people need to validate that I have a talent for writing before I believe the idea? I've published five books, written over 2,000 poems, get lots of praise for my work, and very little criticism. But still, I'm afraid to engage in the craft of writing. I'm afraid to be a “real writer.”
This is the only life I have to live. Will I squander it in fear? I'm very comfortable in my old career as a computer programmer and web developer. Maybe writing is still outside my comfort zone.
What's the solution?
Seems there are two options. Write or not. I can choose to fully engage in my chosen career as a writer, or I can continue playing with it, seeing it as a hobby, a pastime, an interruption of my real work. There might be a third option, actively working two careers, writer and programmer. Is that a better choice? A safer choice? Or will the writing always come second as I don't fully believe I can earn a living as a writer?
Probably I'm a little too hard on myself. I make the decision so big it becomes overwhelming. As I learned in the many twelve step programs I was involved with, “one day at a time” or “just for today” might be a better approach.
“How do you eat an elephant?” asks the old joke. “One bite at a time” is the answer. So, just for today, I'll engage in writing, one word at a time, one line at a time. The lines will become pages. The pages, eventually, will become a finished novel. I've written two full length non-fiction books, Embracing Failure and Embracing Change. That's clear evidence that I have within me the ability to persevere and finish this novel. No need for worry. Release the pressure. One word at a time.
Love and giggles,