Terror and Growth

“Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it. And by doing it, they’re proven right.” – Amy Poehler

As a woman of a certain upbringing and disposition, I want everything I produce to be perfect. All the time.

Logically I understand that it is an impossible standard, but emotionally I just really really want things to be perfect. Hence, I am terrified of taking the next step in my writing and start to consider publishing. For literally years I have been focusing on writing just one story while I develop my craft and writing community. The past few months I feel like I’ve finally gotten the hang of juggling my creative life and my parenting life. Perfect. (Well, as close to perfect as writing and parenting can be…) If I stretch myself, I risk dropping all the balls I have in the air by trying to take on one more.

My irrational emotions whisper dark discouraging thoughts about how likely I am to fail and humiliate myself.

However, thanks to the wise words of Amy Pohler, and the brave example of my writing peers I am not going to let my fear stop me. I am about to take on the scary world of publishing, while also keeping up with my editing and writing responsibilities to myself.

This week I’m going to do three scary things that will hopefully leave me wiser and more capable then I am as I write this now. I am even going to tell you what I plan to do so that it will be harder for me to back out.

1) I am going to sign up to have my (imperfect) pitch critiqued by The Book Doctors.

2) I am going to share my (imperfect) chapter with my writers’ group WITHOUT telling them how bad it is before reading.

3) I am going to try to write an imperfect chapter of a new story.

These small steps will hopefully be at the beginning of many more chances to show off my imperfections and allow myself to learn.