I’ve had to work hard to be brave lately. In personal relationships as well as in my profession, or maybe it would be more appropriate to say the profession I aspire to (but this would be grammatically incorrect and makes me nuts). I don’t want to be brave right now. I want things to be easy. I think we’ve all felt that way though, and that’s when we know we have to push forward, challenge ourselves.
On that note, I entered a 24 hour writing contest. Yes, I’m a novice, but no time like the present, right? I mean, one of my favorite sites, The Rumpus, sells a mug that says “Write like a motherfucker.” I am working on putting that into action. So, as ridiculous as it may be, I put myself in the running with around three hundred other people to write a short story in a mere twenty-four hours. I’m proud of what I wrote, and if it doesn’t win, I’ll still be proud because it’s good. I’m confident that it is good. Someone else’s might be better, but that doesn’t negate the value of my work. (See? See how I have that positive attitude there?)
After that challenge, I addressed my first PAID writing job. My first freelance article. I was scared to death to write it. It carried so much weight. If it sucked I would probably never get another assignment again. If it was great it opened the door for so many more jobs. It took bravery to hit send, but the next morning I received a very positive reply from the managing editor. My heart soared and I thought, “Maybe I can really do this.”
I also started a self editing workshop this week. It’s run by Angela James, Executive editor at Carina Press. You can find information about this workshop here. I have so much to learn and I’m so eager to learn it. Amongst my struggles of getting my grammar straight and fixing my erratic comma placement, (does that go there, I’m really not sure?) I am also learning about immensely valuable tools such as web-based backup systems and the damn new fangled rule about ONE space after a period. Seriously? Why? Why does this need to be changed? “Hit the space bar twice after a period”, it was drilled into my head for years. They began to teach us typing in third grade and from that day forward the double space was hailed as the most necessary habit to have ingrained. But noooooooooo. Now it’s one space, just to mock me. And exclamation points. You know those things that you use to convey excitement? Ya, well you’re not supposed to use those either! (See, but I did it anyway) These rules are blowing me away. As much as I’m poking fun here, I’m so grateful to be learning them. I’m a rule follower, always have been, always will. I will learn these new rules because as hard as it is to be brave, I want to be, so I will fake it until I feel it.