IWSG found me hoping to just get my A-Z Challenge posts up and going! I plan on posting my Reflections post tomorrow.
There were so many AMAZING themes this year and, more than that, there were so many AMAZING people out there, visiting and commenting and making the rounds. My insecurity this month is the same as it has been for years: do I really have what it takes in this world of blogging and social media? Do I really have what is necessary to build this "platform" that all "those in the know" tell me that I "must" have before anything I write will be taken seriously?
I just don't know.
When I started blogging eight years ago I had a desk job. I sat in front of a computer for 40 hours every week. There was ample time between tasks and phones ringing to check blog post updates and keep up with the social media sphere. I was pretty on top of things for about 3 years.
Then I went back to school...and worked on my feet all day...and moved. I LOVE writing. Story is my life's blood. Ask my husband and he'll tell you I spend more money on books, magazines and notebooks than just about anything else. Time, as is usual, is the major constraint.
Time and chronic illness and the feeling I must do EVERYTHING ALL the time. I've spent way too much time trying to do too many things that I haven't focused on what was important to ME. I've always been worried about what "seemed" to be important to everyone else.
And you know what?
That's just dumb.
So maybe I can't (and wasn't able to) read twenty blogs a day. That is in no way a reflection of my respect and profound awe at my fellow bloggers. Maybe I'm not able to come home after 8 hours on my feet and power write for several hours. Maybe some days I'm not able to do much of anything at all. Come take a peek at my counter tops and you'll see that's true more often than not!
I can't do X,Y, and Z and hope to ever become proficient in A, B or C. I certainly can't write all the ideas I have for stories and novels and essays while, at the same time, pursuing other ideas in This, That, or The Other. Sure, I've heard it all: you've got to go after what you want! Yes. You DO. But you must first decide what it is you REALLY want!
There's a quote written on the wall in the office where I work. It's a quote by Oprah that says, "You CAN have it all...just not all at the same time." That's been my problem. I've wanted it ALL, right now.
Again, that's just plain dumb.
So, here you go Blogverse. I hereby give myself permission...
To confess that I suck at a lot of things. But also to realize that I EXCEL at a lot of things also. I give myself permission to put aside some of the dreams and ideas that I've had for YEARS in favor of going after that one, ever-present THING that will simply NOT leave me alone.
I give myself permission
To write bold. To write badly. To SUCK. To burn pages and read aloud awful scenes. To laugh at my mistakes and my run-on sentences and my recent re-adoption of the Oxford comma.
I give myself permission to not be the most proficient blogger out there. I also give up my apologies to those who I have shamefully neglected in terms of blogs and reading and commenting and visiting.
This Insecure Writer's Support Group meeting I ask you to give YOURSELF permission to just write. To breathe deep of ink and paper, of keyboards and motherboards. Give yourself permission to write badly and boldly; to create AWFUL first drafts and forge AMAZING final drafts. Give yourself permission to BE the most AMAZING writer YOU can be.
There are stories in you that only you can tell.
So tell them.