I was talking to a colleague today about a project we’re both working on. While my colleague has a lot of experience in this type of work, I am new to it, and I’m a bit insecure. I sometimes make the mistake of voicing my insecurities. I did that this morning and regretted it instantly. After my colleague made a few remarks in response to what I had said. I said (to myself), “I feel stupid. How can I shake this feeling?”
The answer that came to me was that I need to write. I need to go to my own world where I make the rules. I need to go somewhere where my insecurities are okay; they’re part of what I bring to my reader.
There are times when I think I have nothing to say. I read stories about characters who fight crime, commit crimes, travel the world, live in the projects, fly planes, run businesses…
I’ve done none of that.The interesting thing about me is that growing up, I was the only black kid in a white neighborhood. I’ve been avoiding writing on that subject for most of my life. Writing that sentence was in fact, a big step.
The thing is, I can’t really be boring. I’ve done everything! Well not really everything, but I’ve involved myself in a wide variety of activities.
Here’s a list.
- Dance (tap, ballet, jazz, modern, belly) teaching and performing
- running for student council in high school
- Academic Olympics
- a French competition
- writing contests
- writing sketch comedy
- ceramics classes
- community choir
- performed in a musical
- bookmaking class
- drumming class
- video creation
- teaching aerobics
- pulled up old blueberry plants one time
That’s some of the stuff that came to mind. I even tried out polyamory (it didn’t take).
What’s my point? I kind of lost track of it during the list-making.
I think I probably have had enough life experiences to qualify me as a writer. Qualify me? That makes it sound like I’m looking for validation from an outside entity. I said earlier that I need to “go to my own world where I make the rules.” I think I should go there sooner than later.
About 15 years ago, I wrote about 100 pages of a novel. I abandoned it because it felt too autobiographical. Maybe I didn’t like looking that closely at myself. Maybe I should look again.
I’m gonna make like this sign was for me.