Monday, July 4, 2011
Independence Day (minus Will Smith)
Happy Independence Day!! Isn't that a fabulous word? Independence. That is what I decided to focus on today for this post: independence. A simple word to say, but one of the more difficult ones to put into action.
This week, without realizing the significance of the weekend at the time, I made a promise to work on a query letter. For you more bold writers this may not seem like much of a thing to promise. However, if you are like me; timid, shy, that kid who always sat in the back and was told they'd never amount to anything, well then I'm sure you know how I felt. This was the next step. A new step into an alien world. Its not the world of publishing which was frightening. What was frightening was actually trying. To not stand on the sidelines and get into the game.
It's one thing to have talent, to have skill with putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, and writing what's in you. Now you've breathed life into these characters, you've created a world unlike any other, and now you're creations have life and a voice. They cry out to you that they want to be heard...but you keep them on a file in an unused folder on your laptop. In my case, you keep several finished and half finished notebooks of stories in a dusty tote in a shady corner of the room. Day after day you lie to yourself that "today I'm going to pull it together", "I'm going to spend all day on this", and "Take the kids out! I need to focus. Do you want me to be a writer or not?!" So fine you get your way the house is empty. No kids running around. No phone ringing off the hook. That pesky neighbor decides to leave you alone for the day. Now its you...you and the silence. There's no more excuses, nothing to distract, nothing to keep you from reaching new heights and taking that leap of faith. Except there is something still there: you.
When you're in that position you have to face the fact that you aren't free. Fear, doubts, the past, whatever it may be something is shackling you and stopping you from being the person you want to be, living how you want, from even attempting to be that person. You wonder about yourself and the skills you know you have. I have even wondered why I was asked to be a part of this blog with such amazing writers. I've diminished accolades from other people, sites, and whatnot, choosing to live in a shell. But no turtle stays in its shell forever. You have to poke your head out.
That's when you have to declare Independence.
You have to stand up with the same conviction as the colonists had against the British. (I apologize by the way for the whole tea thing for our British readers) But they came to a point where they said "enough is enough". They fought for what they believed in and they made up in their minds they would sever the bonds of tyranny oppressing them. How? They tried. Talk wasn't going to get them anywhere. They had a focused goal and set out to accomplish it in any means possible.
Sure, many people fell and countless others were wounded. But they knew it wasn't going to be easy. Nothing worth having comes without buckets of sweat, drums of blood, and at least a warehouse full of pain. That's the only difference between the would be author and the bestselling author. The bestselling ones cried "enough", shook off the fear and the doubts and other creepy things lurking in their heads telling them not to procede.
I've been writing since I was nine. It's hard to remember a time writing has not been in my life. But until now I haven't been free. This weekend i took the steps, I'm trying, I'm telling those horrid voices in my head to can it. Writing is what I love, what I will always do, paid or unpaid. I declare my independence from the "wells, maybes, and certainly from those buts". I speak life over my dreams. I finally take control of my life!!
This week I will send out my query. No matter what. And I will keep sending them, while writing, writing, writing. I'm FREE!! Independent and loving it :D
My only question is...who else is with me?
Declare your Independence, loud and proud. Take back your esteem and move past the past. Brighter writing days are ahead my friends. Just shake free of those shackles.