Just so you know, I wasn’t doing any roaring twenty years ago when I first started writing. The sound I was making was more like the soft whispered cries of a day old kitten. Privately I was happy to be writing, even feeling as though I had just as much right to be doing so as the next person, publicly I kept it all to myself. Who was I to even use the word, writer?
I remember how odd it felt once the time came for me to openly admit what I’d been doing in secret for so long. It felt like this huge big deal as I slowly began to open up to others. My face would flush, my heart would quicken whenever they asked what I’d been up to. And yes, I sometimes got a few strange looks when I’d say, “I’ve been writing.” Never once did I admit to being a writer, though. I was simply writing.
I still had miles to go.
Getting to the place were we’re willing to admit (under duress) that we write still doesn’t mean that we believe ourselves to be writers, but it’s the first step. Remember, we’re in our infancy, our eyes and ears are closed off to the outside world, and some of us just take longer to mature than others. No right or wrong, no hurries to get to where we’re going because no one knows how long it will take us to get there, and what all we need to learn, what steps we need to take.
While our mouths may regurgitate what is running through our minds, when it gets down to the nitty-gritty, our hearts know the truth. When I reached that place where I could finally admit I was a writer (maybe I even talked myself into believing it in my head) my heart was silently objecting. Still, I didn’t understand why. I had the proof in front of me–several literary journals that contained my work. Something I knew many others couldn’t say.
Outward proof means little. I could wave those journals about all day long and I might feel good for a time, but feeling the need to prove ourselves to others can not stop that nagging little voice in our heads. When we truly believe something the need to convince others of it seems to vanish.
It is inward proof that we need, that knowing inside that we’re doing exactly what we were meant to do. And why not? There’s nothing out there stopping us from pursuing our dreams of writing except ourselves. No one is standing over us and telling us we can’t, we mustn’t, but that little voice inside our head.
“Someday I’ll write that story,” we say, which is fine so long as that “someday” come around. Someday allots us the opportunity to pretend our dreams are still out there. But it’s a lie. Those someday stories are impossible to get down on paper, as fleeting a summer breeze.
To go long with those someday stories we’re writing we have those silent objections that we’re never going to published anyway.
So what? That shouldn’t stop us if we truly love and enjoy what we do. Many of us follow our dreams for pleasure and nothing more. Does there always have to be this huge big prize waiting for us at the end to tell us that what we’re going has validity?
Write. Tell your story to others. Entertain them with your work. Listen to what your heart is saying. You may not be roaring quite yet, but eventually those quiet little meows will grow loud enough to be heard by others.
Having you reached the place in your writing life where you’re ready to roar or are you still quietly meowing while working away on your someday story?
If you’re ready, I’d love to hear you roar!!!