So today I took a deep breath and did something I have talked about, thought about, dreamt about, but never had the nerve to do. I joined a writer’s group in my home town called the Upstart Crows. So what’s the big deal you ask? Well, since I was 15 years old writing has been a secret passion. It has been an escape and an outlet for my creativity. I used to write stories for my friends when I was in high school, often featuring their current love interests and all the typical drama that makes up the life of a teenager. It was something fun for me and my friends loved it. When my boyfriend went into the Navy I would send him a chapter a week in the mail of a love story featuring us and as he made friends on the ship I added them into the story and created love interests that were their “dream girls”. The guys would pass the chapters around the ship.
I even wrote a short story in my high school English class and I have had other people suggest that I should try to get that story published. And there lies the crux of the matter. Something that has always been so much fun for me becomes a thing of great fear when I think about writing for the general public. Crazy I know but I actually think I am afraid of being successful. I mean, what happens if I actually can write and people like what I have to say and then, God forbid, I have to write on a schedule or finish a story to completion?
Of course there is that voice in the back of my head that says, “You aren’t a writer. No one would want to read what you write. People will think it is awful and criticize you.” and of course then there is the voice that says, “People are going to know that you wrote those words, they came from your mind.” It’s almost as if I am afraid that people will be able to see me through my writing. To understand me, to really know me and it scares the crap out of me.
I have the saying, “You have to want it more than you are afraid of it” as my phone background so that I see it multiple times a day. Tonight, I finally took a step of faith and went the first meeting of the year for the Upstart Crows writing group. I didn’t know a single person there and I went by myself. I sat in a room with 20 other people and announced myself as a writer, declared I write romances and made the commitment to myself to take this step of faith and see where it will take me. Yes, it’s scary as hell but at least I am doing something now instead of just dreaming about someday.