It’s a golden afternoon here in Georgia, the only rain a cascade of scarlet and canary leaves shaken free from their trees by the breeze. Recently, I decided that I would self-publish a series of my little fiction scrawls as serial e-books. Nothing special, nothing serious. The first of these stories is complete and I’m in the process of learning about formatting and fees.
But What Will “They” Think?
How many writers have been poised to publish or simply in the midst of writing when they froze at this thought? Who exactly is “they” and why do they hold this mysterious power to petrify us? I think, for me, it’s the thought that my little fluffy fictional comfort reads will lock me into a brand. I have other, more serious or scholarly ambitions. I don’t want to be solely known as the author of nothing significant. I don’t want to be trapped. I’m not ready to settle down just yet!
As well, “they” are all the people I so desperately want to impress with my dedication to serious social issues. So many individuals have expressed the thought that I’m “such a great writer” without any of what I would consider concrete examples of my work. Where did they get this idea…a Facebook post? How the hell do they know I’m a good writer? Are they just doing what has become a popular thing to do in this culture–offering what they think is support by stroking my ego?
Frozen By an Idea
I have to keep pushing myself to go forward with this idea, this small way to dip my toes into an endless sea of writers so much better than I am. Of course, there’s also the mountain of garbage writing that I’ve seen–and no, I won’t name names, because I’d like to think that those bits are just first attempts. We all improve with practice. So, why am I stuck? I write like I breathe? Why should self-publishing be any scarier than this–a blog open to the entire Internet Universe?
Because, I don’t care if no one reads what I write here. I am terrified that I will try my try and no one will even notice.
It seems such a tiny thing, but I feel like the figurative elephant confronted by a mouse. So, I’m speaking my stupid little fear in hopes that it will make it less or shame me into bravery. We all have to start openly being what we are somewhere. This is where I start–a sort of St. Crispin’s Day Speech I’m giving to myself.
For those of you not acquainted with Billy the Bard, I’ve included a wonderful rendition of the speech below.