Monday, May 19, 2014

Incognito No Longer

So, I've been MIA from this blog for a while.

Mostly because I have lost my voice. Not my Voice, that elusive thing all writers strive to achieve first and foremost in their writing, but my stand-on-a-soap-box-have-something-to-say voice.

And it's not at all that I'm NOT talking, but that I have laryngitis from talking so damn much.

I hate being in the spotlight. But right now, I find myself talking in front of people all the time at the Writers' Loft, and, omg, in front of almost 650 people at the NE-SCBWI conference a few weeks ago.

See, proof:
That's Natasha and myself, courtesy of Pam Vaughan, our rockin' conference photographer. Want to see more NE-SCBWI pics?
At the conference, I wrote down what I needed to say on the palm of my hand so I wouldn't forget in front of the crowd. Can you imagine what I'm going to look like next year as co-chair? I'm going to be inked up from head to toe!!

This is not a post about getting over fears. This is a post about being in a certain place in our lives where we realize that it is our job to risk things. To have faith that we will learn what we need to know as we live, and that people will forgive our shortcomings as we learn.

To have faith that if we put ourselves out there, on a daily basis, then we will get the things we need to grow in return.

What does it mean to put ourselves out there as a writer? To query agents or editors. To be honest at a crit group. To start a crit group. To turn the writer sitting next to you at a conference and ask them about their work. To reach out to a writer you've met online and ask them to go out for lunch. OMG, can I tell you how many of my friends I've met this way? I always started the conversation with, "this might sound weird, and I am not an ax murderer...."

What risks am I taking right now? More than I care to admit. But the thing about risks, is that you don't start with a ton of them. One leads to another which leads to another which leads to me covered in ink, evidently.

And, since I might not catch you on Tuesday, I thought I might link to a great TED talk by author Karen Thompson Walker about learning from our fears.  (I can no longer get TED talks to embed.)

What risks are you taking? Do you have vivid fears? Share with me!