This last weekend, I was a presenter at Word on the Lake Writing Festival. I taught a 90 minute workshop on crafting the short story and another on freelancing. I also did a reading on the first night and moderated/participated on a panel about writer promo and marketing. Phew.
At one point I had to stop and ask myself how I got there. I’m just a little girl from a large family who loves to read and write. I’m nobody special. I’m just me.
There I was–virtually– amongst my professional peers, sharing my knowledge and experience. It’s a spot I love and it makes me giddy (and a little nervous) every single time.
I ask myself how I got there. Am I as worthy as the others? Why would anyone want to listen to me? All those self-doubter yucky questions…the ones where you can’t allow yourself to go because you’ll end up down a rabbit hole with a blankie over your head and your thumb in your mouth.
Imposter syndrome and all its self negative talk is not welcome in my office–or life–or head. Period.
This morning was my first opportunity to check out my online world. I caught up on email and twitter. Then checked some blogs and that’s when I saw my friend’s blog asking what advice we’d give our younger selves.
To me, Stuart’s blog and my weekend at the Writer’s Festival were linked serendipitously. When I look back at the journey of where I was as a young person to where I am today –well, I could write a book. lol.
I have few regrets in life. One true regret though is my passive nature and waiting for life to happen to me instead of going out and taking control. When I finally did take control I surged forward in confidence and abilities I didn’t realize I had.
I found my strength as a young woman and an understanding in life that time was going to pass by whether I did anything or not. I shed the heavy cloak that protected me and embraced my own reality. For me that meant letting go of the shyness and uncertainty. This was years before I picked up a pen.
Ask yourself these questions.
Who am I? Who do I want to be?
Am I a writer? Am I willing to put in the work to make it happen?
Am I actively writing? Am I actively learning the craft?
Am I pushing myself to my potential? How am I doing that?
I ask these questions because when I was young there was no internet. I didn’t have the opportunity to seek out like-minded people at the drop of a hat.
Ugh…we had snail mail and ugly telephones that didn’t fit in your pocket…Hell, they were connected to the wall.
It’s a different world for sure and it’s a world where you can make things happen.
You can write and post any time you want–whether it be on social media or another platform.
You can self publish your poetry, short stories, or novel.
Take a free workshop.
Get advice. Ask a zillion questions (try me….).
You can set up a YouTube channel and do virtual readings of your work.
My question is….
What are you waiting for?
If you’re waiting for someone to knock on your door and offer you a full contract and a limo to your red carpet book launch–get a grip. Go Make it Happen. No ones knocking…sorry.
Know that you DESERVE success.
Send those projects off to the top agents! Hussle. Make it happen.
You’re the only one who can do it.