Am I afraid someone might hear me?

When I was a little girl, my Mom asked me why I didn’t sing at church, was I afraid someone might hear me? And that was exactly it. I was afraid someone might hear me and tell me I was bad. The memory came to me the other evening out of the blue, as I was driving home from critique group. It was another evening where I had failed to bring anything to read, because I had been lax in producing material. (As a matter of fact, I was singing along with the music on my iPod. In the car. Alone. Where no one else could hear me.)

I wonder if that is my hang up. I’m always looking for the reason why I’m not following my dream as earnestly as I once did.

I have always considered myself shy. (Hey, people I know and love, stop with the ungracious snorting.) Others may not see me that way, but that is how I view myself most of the time. A lot of what I do to be social or to put myself out there makes me so anxious…I just can’t describe it. It boiled down to always wanting people to like me.

Anyway, when I stepped out of the box, to use as well-worn cliche, and joined in this world of writing, I put myself “out there.” And got kicked in the teeth time and time again with rejections. People didn’t like my stuff, the stuff I created, enough to invest in it. They didn’t like my work, thus they didn’t like me. I know, one doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the other. Logic tells me that. But it’s how I feel on some level, logical or not.

Yet, when I do get some recognition for my work or feedback, such as a published editorial letter, or a sold short story, I get such a rush. They hear me, and they like me.

The bottom line is, I have to cut the crap and just do it. I’m not the first and I’m not the last writer to face multiple rejections. And I do have to show those who would not believe I’ll get anywhere that I WILL.

Mostly though, I owe it to myself to pick it up and get with it. And to those who believe in me, like family and friends and my fellow witers who let me in on the action at my critique groups. And to God most of all, for hasn’t He given me this ability? Maybe there is someone who needs to hear what I have to say in my stories. Maybe I can be of use and do good, maybe God will use me for His will in this way.

I found something today that spoke to this latest craziness I am feeling. Someone, evidently, meant for me to HEAR this. An excerpt from yesterday’s Oprah interview with Meg Ryan:

“Maybe that’s a female thing, but it’s crazy how you have to talk yourself into protecting yourself and allowing yourself to expand,” Meg says. “Anaïs Nin has this beautiful quote. ‘And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.’

“There are times in every woman’s life where she does need to get out and expand and do all those things that make her the best version of herself.”

2 Comments on “Am I afraid someone might hear me?”

  1. Gabrielle says:

    I love that Nin quore, it’s one of my favorites and so true. I think that’s the reason I moved to Paris – because it might have been scary to do so, with no job, etc, but staying where I was and not challenging myself hurt more.

    Congrats, April, on seeing what you need to do and finding the courage to do it. You’re an inspiration!

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