Monday, September 5, 2011

Shooting For the Stars

Have you ever had a moment in your life when you realize that you're too scared to shoot for the stars because if you fail, you'll have nothing left to shoot for? No? Well, those moments suck.
I was having a conversation with Michael when I struck on something.  The novel that I've been writing has been almost finished for some time now.  I always think about picking it back up, and finishing it, but never do it.  I say it's because I'm stuck.  I know the writing is good, but I also know that the story needs more.  More depth, more intrigue, more everything.   

I know it’s a work in progress--and that seems like a lot of work, going through everything.  I hate to destroy even one page of what I've created, and it's like a physical wound to change things.  So that does stop me from even trying.  But I think the real reason I'm not writing is because I'm afraid.  

I know that with everything else in life that I've ever been really interested in pursuing, I've always just been average. I may not suck, but I'm not exceptional either.  We all want to be exceptional, to find our niche.  I really think writing is my niche.  It's something I've always been good at, and something that I love.  When I write a story, or even a paper for a class, I feel a little bit of magic weaving itself around me as I write.  It's a beautiful thing, reading over what I've written and know I did this.   

But I think I'm afraid that even though it's my niche, and I love it…that I won't be good enough.  I may love it, but what if I don't have the talent?  What if I can't really pull this off?  If I fail--which is my biggest fear in life--what do I have left?  If my biggest dream isn't attainable, what do I reach for then?  If I try and fail, I have nothing left for myself.  Of course I'll still have things in life to be happy about, but not that small portion of this world that is for me alone.   

If I don't try, I can't fail--and then at least I can hold on to the dream that maybe I would succeed if only I tried, someday.  I know that this is part of life, taking risks.  It's just such a scary one.  I know that I need more for myself.  I can't just be a mom or a wife, or even that awesome creation that is a military wife and mother.  I need to be more than that.  And I try--I dabble with sewing, and cooking, and working out.  I try to find a little niche somewhere else--I think so I can have something to fall back on if this doesn't work.  

But I'll never know if I don't try.  I'll never get to succeed if I don't try.  I may fail, but I won't know that…if I DON'T TRY.  Basically, I need to get my damn head out of the sand, and stop being afraid.  I need to dedicate myself to my writing again.  Set aside time.  Stop letting excuses get in the way.

I was able to do that was P90x.  I put aside the excuses, and just did it.  You can't make a change if you don't try.  If you fail, okay.  That sucks.  But at least you tried.  Or, at least that’s what I'm telling myself because I need this damn pep talk.  

 I tried P90x, I set aside excuses, and I succeeded. I may not have had the results I wanted at the beginning, but that doesn't bother me.  Because maybe my results weren't really obtainable.  My results were still fantastic.  And I know I'm not done yet.  I paved the road, and now I have a clear path to follow.  The same can happen with writing.  I need to set myself out to pave that road.  And if at the end, I'm not where I want to be…well, then at least I got the ball rolling.  I can build upon it.   

And I can have the confidence to know that what is inside has the potential for greatness--if I try. 


  1. My favorite saying, one I will some day have tattooed on my arm, is this: You can fix anything but a blank page. Also, don't forget that anyone can write. Only those who revise well are the ones we consider great writers. It takes a lot of practice, and sometimes quite a few trunk novels, before we hit on a successful novel. And then we have to throw in a spot of timing and luck to see it hit the market.

    You can do it. Embrace the fear and let it fuel your creation. E-mail me if you want to chat about author stuff. :) snarkynavywife at gmail.

  2. THANK you for this comment! Totally made me day because not everyone really gets it. I think that first novel really is going to be a "trunk novel." It was my first real attempt, and I learned from my mistakes while writing it. I've been working out an outline for a new novel for a few months now, and I think I'm finally ready to start writing it. I'm so excited!