But I am afraid of my writing. When I see who is taking submissions and I prepare myself to tweak or compose a piece of writing in order to submit it I get anxious. My heart starts beating quickly, my breathing grows shallow, and my strength wanes to the point where holding a pen feels like I’m hanging on for dear life on the side of a cliff.
I’m afraid that I won’t be good enough. I am afraid, like many folks, of the rejection.
I am afraid of the success. Like a true introvert being successful in the world of writing is going to bring attention to my door. Can I handle that? Can I keep myself from saying or writing or doing something that will shame me for all of eternity?
And what’s more, I’m afraid of peaking and never being able again to write anything as good as something I write early on in life.
When I was a teenager I had so much confidence. I could get onstage and do improvisation in theater like it was breathing. I would write a poem as I waited for my turn to recite and then speak it like it was the Gospel when I got to the mic.
But somewhere, something or someone took that from me. It may well have been me that did it to myself. Bu all I have now is fear.
I thought, for the longest time, that I was just plain lazy. But when I write I can do it for hours and not feel like I had exhausted myself, whatsoever.
But today, as I read articles from a magazine I dearly wish to be published in, I read the biography of a couple of women who had been published and I thought “oh no, she’s had a book published, of course they won’t pick me and my 30 follower blog,” or, “man, she’s got a PhD and I’m a bachelor degree holding failure. I can’t compete with that.” Even as I narrowed down my writing to the piece that I want to revamp and submit, even as I thought “my writing is just as good, or even better than this,” the butterflies in my belly were put under the engorgio charm. *
I always imagined myself at thirty as this:
A petite woman in over-sized masculine clothes, house- complete with a library and writing station, and two published works that call for my to tour making me the, um, Beyoncé of the writing world. My words would be debated over CNN because of the social movements it sparks or the people it’s influenced and I’d jump up and down on Oprah’s couch like Tom Cruise when she added my writing to her book club list. This would all get me a lunch date with Toni Morrison that would become a mentorship, a lead singer position in the Rock Bottom Band, and Neil Gaiman as the God father of my children.
And since I still believe this to be the life that lies under this “real life” I lead now, I will swallow this fear and submit and if I am reject I will rejoice and do it all over and over again until I make those dreams tangible. Except the couch thing because Oprah no longer has her show.
Wish me luck,
*that’s a little Potter jargon for you non-Potter heads (means that the butterflies were made humongous).