So I have been at this “blog” for a month now. I am overwhelmed at the loving support I have received from my “real life” friends and my “virtual friends.”
When you go public with your dream, it is amazing how scary it can be. It is scary because now people will know if you fail. We are scared of the success, scared of the critique; ultimately, we are scared of the unknown. Fear is a powerful emotion. Writer’s often capture the emotion with ease when it applies to our characters, but when turned inward, we hesitate. We hesitate because we are scared.
My father taught me how to drive. He bought me a little red car a few months before I turned fifteen. Why so early you ask? Because it was a “stick” shift, as we call it. Meaning, he knew it would take every moment of the next fourteen months for me to learn how to drive it. A task so daunting, I wore out the alternator from so many stops and starts due to a phenomenon known affectionately as “popping the clutch.” So for the next several months, my father endured many close calls from my incessant “popping of the clutch.”
Finally, one morning with his hot coffee in his lap, his sausage biscuit in the floor, and my little brother in the backseat in tears, we had survived another close call. I hesitated at an intersection, and thanks to a transfer trucks amazing braking system, we were spared a very different outcome. As we sat in the middle of the intersection, stalled out from yet another episode of popping the clutch, 18-wheeler’s grill in full view out my passenger side windows, a valuable lesson was learned in that little red car. In my father’s most patient voice, although there was a twinge of irritation due to the scalding of his “area,” he spoke a profound piece of advice, “Hesitation will get you killed.” Now, at the time, I dismissed this quip. I filed it away with an eye roll with all the other fatherly advice. I continued on my way, squealing the tires out of the intersection, trying to overcompensate, and determined to NOT pop the clutch.
So you see, we cannot hesitate, we cannot wait one minute longer on our dreams. As we put ourselves out there in the world, with our dreams on our sleeves, knowing our failures will be shining bright in the night sky. We must not be afraid to “pop the clutch” and try. Because one day, we will succeed and we will have the skills necessary for our success.
I can now drive a 5-speed car with ease. We all look back and laugh at the close calls of near death. There is a special place in heaven for those who dared to ride with me in those first few months, but I am an excellent driver now, in fact, I love to drive. So much so, people wonder if my husband even has a license.
Much like learning to drive, I put fear aside a month ago, and began this journey to becoming a writer, not just a published writer, but a true writer. I made a promise to commit to this craft, to better myself, and to remain focused on the goal. Here’s the thing, with most goals I am in control. I can do the things to make me successful. I can work hard, practice, and perform the necessary steps to achieve the goal. Publishing is different. I can do everything I am supposed to. I can write, polish, read all the “rules”, create a perfect query, etc… but at the end of the day it is in someone else’s hands. That is the most difficult part…giving over to that lack of control. As writer’s we are at an intersection every time we decide to share our thoughts and words. I knew if I didn’t give my writing over to viewers, if I didn’t give up control, if I continued to hesitate, my dream would never become reality. It would die right there at that intersection. My father’s words are true, hesitation really will get you killed.
I just want to thank all of you that have joined and followed me, to those of you who have shared my posts, and to those of you who continue to pray for my journey. Thank you!
Surround yourself with greatness, and you too, shall be great!
I’m glad I didn’t hesitate.