Friday, April 27, 2007

What Are You Afraid Of?

Okay, so maybe reading The Secret (or at least skimming it) will lead me to a breakthrough after all. Or not.

I continue to ponder my role in this world. I haven't found my place in the workforce yet, and I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I know, "Join the club," you say. We're all trying to find that magical blend of challenging, meaningful and financially rewarding work.

But I think about it. A lot. And I'm still hedging when asked the question, "If you could do anything, what would it be?"

My first response is nothing. The only reason I work is to make money. If that weren't an issue, I would not work. Period. Of course let's talk about your definition of "work." It's not work if you love what you are doing, right?

So what do I want to be? And why am I afraid to admit it - to myself and others?

I was pressed on that question last night, and I finally said "I want to be a writer."

There. Was that so hard?

"Then why don't you do it? I've read some of the things you've written - you are a good writer."

And that's where I started with the excuses. I'm used to earning a living wage; I'm afraid that I couldn't earn enough to maintain my lifestyle. Of course that's a copout. What is really behind that excuse is this - I'm afraid that no one will care what I have to say. Or worse - that my writing will be criticized.

And so I’ve allowed this fear to keep me from doing what I want to do. I have ideas for stories, novels. But I’ve never totally fleshed them out. I’ve never put together that finished piece and tried to do something with it. In some ways, this blog is my book. You know the adage that if you want to write, you should write every day. That’s what I do here. Sometimes more often than others. Sometimes more eloquently than others.

I think I’ve run out of excuses. If writing is my passion (and it’s just about the only thing that I’ve ever even considered attaching that label to) then I need to do it. I need to put together a finished product and go with it. It doesn’t even necessarily need to be a book. I could start out small with an article or a short story.

Maybe I’ll get paid to write, and maybe it’s just an outlet for me. Maybe I’ll never earn more than the $150 I made two years again when I wrote those silly society columns for the local newspaper.

Or I could just end this sentence and hit the “publish” button.

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