>> Monday, August 27, 2012
The other day I had lunch with my great-niece and aspiring writer, Bethany, who turns thirteen today.
She lives out of state and we don't see each other often so it was a special treat to chatter like magpies about our shared love of putting words on paper.
I showed her my NaNo certificates, binders of written material, and dozens of computer files. She oooed and aahhed over my published works and peppered me with questions about my work-in-progress novel.
At one point, she asked me about using a pen name and I explained that during the short time I used one, I found it cumbersome and complicated.
I’d signed up for FaithWriters with it, never dreaming I’d actually meet any of those people. So when I turned up at the conference, I had to frequently issue disclaimers about who I really was.
I also told her about the legal and financial implications. I’ve always pictured getting my first contract advance and not being able to cash it because it’s in my pen name. (Come on, a girl can dream, right?)
The bottom line is that for me, it was starting to be more trouble than it was worth.
She seemed satisfied, but soon I realized I needed to tell her the whole truth…the REAL reason I used a fictitious persona:
When I first started to write, I was too terrified to tell anyone. What if people laughed? Or worse, what if my writing stank?
Over time, my confidence grew along with my abilities. Joshua (in the Bible) became my hero and I often chanted, Be strong and courageous, Be strong and courageous.
And then there’s my blog, a direct result of putting on my big girl panties and moving forward.
To some, it may appear that I’m nothing more than a struggling blogger whose been working on a novel for years (and seems like it will NEVER get finished.)
But the difference, I told my attentive pupil, is that I’m doing what I’m supposed to, no longer held captive by fear. Then I shared a little confidence builder I read about in a book on writing:
"Every day, jot this down:"
I Am A Writer.
Then I showed her a pad with about a dozen lines filled in with this sentence.
“Every day?” she said.
“Yup. And eventually you’ll believe it.”
Happy Birthday, Bethany. I Love Youand Yes, You Are A Writer!