While swapping emails with a close friend the other day I referred to myself as the cowardly lion. Most people who know me would never describe me as such. I am often amazed at the level of respect I get from others. I guess its normal to feel like you don’t deserve such accolades.
After a divorce I raised three wonderful children alone. I went back to work after being a SAHM for many years. I bought a home where I felt my children could grow up safely. I did all the things a woman is supposed to do for her family but I did what was safe. I didn’t take any risk even when my heart felt like it was being crushed under the weight of ‘mundane’.
I wanted to be a writer all my life but doing so involved putting myself out there. It was easier just doing the day-to-day instead of following a dream where it may it could be crushed and destroyed. I didn’t want to face rejection of my writing, I had to deal with enough rejection in my personal life. It was easier to defeat myself and live out my fantasy of a writer only in my head than to actually do it.
But last summer, I finished a novel. I’ve let only a few people read it and they gave me more than enthusiastic encouragement. So what was I going to do with it? Of course one would think getting it published would be high on my list of things to do, but it really wasn’t. Like the cowardly lion, I only pretended to be tenacious in my efforts. I only pretended to pursue my passion.
When I emailed my friend jokingly about being the cowardly lion it wasn’t till a few days later I realized even the cowardly lion grew a pair. I didn’t want to be a fraud anymore. I want to be the person so many people respect me for being. I had to stop hiding and start writing not just for myself and my fantasy but for my real life. Writing makes me happy. I want to be a writer. I will write but most importantly I will put my writing on display, I will seek agents, I will face the rejection, the criticism, and I will improve. I will become a published author. Eventually.
Feel the fear and do it anyway.