Running Down A Dream

Posted on | November 23, 2010 | 6 Comments

I have thin skin.

And I don’t mean that you can see the veins through my skin, although you can, I mean that I figuratively have very thin skin. I always have had thin skin and it has never served me well.

I share this with you because, well, I think you should know that about me. It is the one thing about myself that I simultaneously love and loathe. I love it because often times it keeps me from saying things I might think for fear of hurting someone else’s feelings. It makes me a little more sensitive, I think, to what other people might be feeling because I think about how a given situation would make me feel.

But I loathe it equally.

I loathe that just one word, one ill-thought word or phrase or even a sideways glance can turn me into a blathering idiot. I fall apart a lot, y’all. And it’s embarrassing. I over think EVERYTHING… emails, blog posts, blog comments, tweets, text messages, LACK of text messages… you name it. If there is a way to twist something until it becomes a slap in my face, I will find it. I can turn even the most innocuous of comments into a slur against my very soul.

And it is this problem, this thin skin, that makes me so damn scared to pursue my dreams. But I have to buck up. I have to put on my big girl drawers and learn to deal with it. Because if I don’t, I’m doing a disservice to my child. How can I raise my son to follow his dreams and to believe that anything is possible if I am too scared to do the same?

What brought this on? Easy. NaNoWriMo. All my life, I’ve wanted to be a published author. Honestly. I can’t remember a time I didn’t want to write for a living. I wrote stories when I was a little girl that were ridiculous. I wrote a 50 page novel in seventh grade for a history project. I love to write. Love it. Like write to breathe and breathe to write love it.

But for most of my life I’ve kept my writing tucked into the pink file folder in my closet or the “Personal” folder of my computer. I don’t share it. I don’t let other people read it. I don’t want to put it out there for fear that someone won’t like it. And that is what has been so wonderful about blogging… it’s helped me to put things out there, even if they aren’t “real” writing, and has taught me how to cope on a small scale with rejection.

And then came NaNoWriMo. And guys? I’ve almost written a novella. Seriously. I’ve sat down every day for 23 days and I’ve pounded out a story that is over 38,000 words long. And it’s got a beginning. And a middle. And I’m working hard on an ending. This little venture, although completely crazy, has unleashed the little six year old inside me that has been silently screaming for 26 years to LET HER OUT AND LET HER WRITE.

And it feels good. It feels good to follow a dream. I don’t know where it’s going to lead… maybe nowhere. But I’m doing it. I’m writing a novel. And one day? Maybe I’ll find the courage to package it up and ship it off to an editor. Maybe I’ll find the courage to read the five hundred odd rejections I am bound to get. And maybe, just maybe… I’ll find my way to being a published author. I owe it to myself and to my son to at the very least try.

Comments

6 Responses to “Running Down A Dream”

  1. Eclipsed
    November 23rd, 2010 @ 1:55 am

    That's amazing that you've done that. My skin is also thin, so thin that I didn't even try because I just knew I would fail and then I would fall apart, because I fall apart too…a lot.

    I think the hard part is over, you've already poured yourself into it. I say go for it. We'll all bolster you if any fool happens to reject you.

  2. Nicci @ Changing the Universe
    November 23rd, 2010 @ 2:12 am

    YAY! I'm so proud of you for kicking ASS with NaNoWriMo!

    Also, do you need more suggestions on what to write about next? I have a whole stock-pile of ideas for you 😉

  3. genxmama
    November 23rd, 2010 @ 2:16 pm

    I personally think you are amazing. In my new world of blogging, there are several that I hold to high esteem and you are one of them. I find your writing funny, insightful and entertaining. I would LOVE to read a novel written by you. And I can't wait for the day when I do!

    As far as thin skin…I couldn't understand you more. As a 34 year old woman who has started and stopped her college education for the past 16 years, I am always embarrassed with the fact that I am STILL working on my undergrad. The biggest thing that was holding me back has been my fear. Putting myself out there to people who are smarter than myself. At least those I considered smarter than myself. Last year though, I realized I have got to step up to the challenge. I would never attain this one goal of getting my college degree if I didn't try. And then I have failed. I have failed by not trying.

    I have had a few stumbles (like not knowing which continent Mexico is on. Seriously? I was mortified!)but never have felt so good about myself since I put myself out there.
    You will know when you are ready. You just have to believe in yourself…the way we all do.

  4. KLZ
    November 23rd, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

    I'd love to read it if you're looking for a friendly sounding board. I'm sure it's fantastic.

  5. Cybil
    November 23rd, 2010 @ 6:20 pm

    Go for your dream! I would love to read your novel!

  6. The Little Bear
    November 28th, 2010 @ 5:57 pm

    You and me both! I often wonder if I'll ever outgrow the nausea before court appearances and depos. I can only hope. Thanks for writing this post. You are so not alone! Your novella will be wonderful, even if you keep it all to yourself!

    By the way, totally small world- 3 of my besties and roomies from college are from Tarboro and Scotland Neck.

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