I've been writing for years. I've not published anything yet. Not because I've been rejected, but because I haven't submitted anything to anyone. Why? How long do you have? Short version, fear. That's it. Fear of rejection, of someone not liking what I wrote, of offending someone. Now that I'm approaching my next birthday (the big 5-0), I realize I don't care any more. I don't care if I offend or someone dislikes what I write. I just plain don't give a damn!
I presented a piece of work at a writing group last month. The critique left me discouraged, frustrated and above all, mad as hell! I am not a poet, never professed to be one. And I prefaced the reading with that statement. And when I was done, I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach. My fault for calling it a poem. I should have called it a narrative or something. The end result, after I got over my cowering fear of presenting ANYTHING to ANYBODY, was to sit up and say, "Screw you!" Okay, not literally, but yeah, that's how I felt. And now, I'm glad I read it. I'm even glad I got the comments I did. I'm done worrying about it. It is what it is, good or bad. That's all. And you know, I'm not getting rid of it. It's got potential.
I'm putting my name out there, making my name visible to publishers, editors, other writers, and the general public. I want people to know who I am. A friend recently asked me how I feel about this new mindset. The answer? Scared shitless. I feel like I'm standing on the edge of a cliff, getting ready to bungee jump. And I can't wait to do it!!
My novels in progress are getting a lot more attention these days. My journal is filling up. I'm putting myself "out there" and letting life happen. By the end of next week, I will have an article ready for submission. Period. No "plan to" or "should have", it will be done.
So, watch as I jump! How do you like me now?