I’m at a writers’ conference. A dream I’ve had for awhile.
I’m scared half out of my mind.
There are agents here, looking for new talent to snap up. Publishers seeking new books to acquire. Authors who’ve been there, done that and have the published books and contracts to prove it.
What am I doing here?
I’ve been writing since I was a kid. Stories. Poems. Many were outlandish leaps of imagination. Some merely snapshots from my world. Reading and writing have been outlets for me. Chances to step away from reality.
This conference is a logical next step. I’ve been working on a book for some time. Three of them, actually. A children’s book about heroes that grew from a title my son created. A fantasy based on a script that’s been playing out in my head. And a non-fiction book which stemmed from a comment Debbie made in the fourth grade.
Inspiration comes in many guises.
I’ve become more comfortable with my writing. I’ve learned a lot in the last year. Became a member of an online guild where folks could submit one page of their manuscript and get it critiqued and tightened.
Without having to have anyone look at you. No fears of seeing dissatisfied faces or “I could have done better than that” expressions.
So why am I here, where everyone is seeing me and my work?
Writing is a lot like giving birth. (Take my word for it, men.) You work for nine plus months, doing everything you can to produce the healthiest baby possible. And when that child is born, imagine everyone critiquing your baby. “Kind of a conehead, isn’t he?” “Why’s she so wrinkled?” “I’m sure she’ll pretty up in a week or so. Or more.” “Looks aren’t everything, you know. He’s probably going to be really smart.”
It’s hard having folks critique what I’ve labored over.
Unlike modifying children, I can learn and modify my writing. Improve my craft. Work a little harder at getting better.
Right now I feel a little paralyzed. I’m surrounded by talent, and it’s got me questioning if I have any.
Fear shows up at the worst possible times. Undermining confidence. Fear causes me to question what I know to be true and can often loom larger than the truth in my heart.
Fear is a weapon of the enemy of our souls. Used to take us out when we’re accomplishing what God has called us to do. To sabotage our purposefulness. To threaten our dreams and goals.
Fear is not from God.
I know that. I’ve experienced victory over that. But when fear shows up, it’s a smack in the face that takes me by surprise. It’s there. Waiting. Ready to knock me off my feet.
Fear doesn’t take anything away from God, who He is, His power. If I think about it, it should cause me to run into the arms of the One who is my Place of Safety.
I’m not always thinking.
I’m going to be mindful about my writing. Use it for something–Someone–more than just me. Not be afraid of what others may say.
So there, fear. I’m going to write on.