Step Away from the Post…or not.


So, it only took three days!  Yup, three whoooooole days for me to wonder exactly I had gotten myself into this time.  I spent a good portion of yesterday looking at all the amazing blogs that are part of the Write 31 Days challenge and with each click I felt like an outsider. This is a condition I find myself in. A lot.  Who was it that said “Comparison is the thief of joy”? OK, I am a total geek and I know the answer-just wanted to phrase it as a question. It was Teddy Roosevelt.

Gorgeous graphics, wise and well crafted writing, great topics and all around perfect looking blogs for about three hours and I was left wishing I hadn’t done signed up. What can I possibly offer to the conversation? Nothing interesting or new, that’s for sure. After a healthy dose of self loathing with a smidge of pity thrown in for good measure I was reminded why I chose-yes, chose-to do this. It was a challenge to write. Something I have wanted to pursue and have always loved.

My earliest recollection of wanting to write was when I was maybe 8 or 9.  I had seen a contest in the local paper looking for stories of unsung hero’s and why they deserved to be recognized. In my most earnest, youthful way I set out to write a story for the contest. I knew right away who I was going to write about!! I was so excited! I wrote my little heart out, sent my entry in and waited. It is SO hard to wait when you just know you are going to win!  I got my first rejection letter a few weeks later. I didn’t understand, I mean, how could I have lost? No one had ever written a song about Frederick Douglass Jr.-come on!! See, what my little old writer self didn’t know was that unsung meant unrecognized. I realized this-and learned a great lesson-when I read the winners submissions.

I continued to submit for different things and was even published (kids section in the local paper-no big digs) once or twice.  Somewhere along the way I gave it up.  Don’t know why-maybe it was the rejections out weighing the acceptances-but I think it had more to do with the increasing inhibitions that accompanied growing up. And comparison. I developed a severe case of ‘others’. Others were better at almost everything so why bother.

inhibitions

Fast forward a few years (ahem) and I am still dealing with comparison.  AND, I am still allowing it to steal my joy!  The definition above has some interesting points to it-especially the bit about a “voluntary…restraint on the direct expression of an instinct”. This implies a willingness to act against what one really wants. Is this what I do? Do I willfully allow comparison and all the other negative thoughts inhabit my thoughts? Do I allow what I think others think of me get in the way? Do I allow that voice that says I am not as good as _______ keep me from taking the next step? Have I spent too many years wanting to fit in-to be as cool as or as good as or as whatever as? Uh, yeah.

10684316_702070369884973_803560635_nI wish I knew who said this-I couldn’t find an attribution but I give props to whoever did.  I still nod yes when I read it.  This is where I want to be-to have that confidence in where I am and quit comparing myself to what everyone else is doing.  I may not be changing the world with what I write but I am writing none-the-less so that alone has value.  I am still getting lots of rejections-more that 30 so far this year for my art work (none for writing cause you can’t get rejected if you haven’t sent anything off!) and I am learning to let it slide right off. That it isn’t personal and that I need to keep going.

I will probably talk about rejection some more on down the road but I will leave it alone for now. For today, just today, let’s focus on forward motion-on taking that next step one at a time and not all at once.  I am looking forward to following a lot of great bloggers out there and I know I will learn a ton and though I am truly sorry I couldn’t get a song written about Mr. Douglass I am grateful that I remembered that the desire to write goes a long way back. AND, maybe its worth going forward with 😉

What holds you back? What is your ‘thief’?  Let’s shake them off together!

Enjoy the AND because that is where the journey is happening-

S.

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11 Replies to “Step Away from the Post…or not.”

  1. Um, yep. Love every word of this. Perfect. Brava, bravo, go girl!!
    I will send you might button, but there is one small problem. It is not set up to link to my series home page. But, since you were gracious and asked, I can send it to you 🙂 Good luck with that. I just “link it” when I use it. Generous people make me smile big.

  2. Well now, if you need to take a look at one of those amazing blogs…one that is full of awesome writing and thoughts….one that really speaks volumes….please don;t visit mine 🙂 !
    Now if you want to have a place that reflects “Hey, I don;t have it all together and I just write whatever pops into this little head of mine”…one where you could compare away and still walk away feel GUHREAT…come on by :).
    LOVE you “do it anyways” attitude because your story is your story and no one will write it as good as you…or as well as you??? I forget which is the proper grammar here.’
    “Suerman does good, you do well”>
    I remember…no one can write your story as WELL as you can :).
    Good lick and keep writing!!! ❤
    {Stopping by from 31Dayers FB group!

  3. one of “those” great blogs? I’m staring at it. This post rocks it in all the right ways. Carry on my friend. I love the quotes. Thanks for the reminder to not let comparison steal joy, and keep going and speaking our truth. Onward!

  4. The message of the world is to compare and conform….I am thankful that I have seen many of those wonderful, unique, passionate and quirky parts of S.A.M. & I look forward to MORE!

  5. We share a common reader, and friend, Judi. She sent me a link to your blog as we’re both crazy enough to join the write31days challenge. I’ll be stopping by more. Judi knew I’d like your style 😉

  6. Oh-My-Gosh! Frederik Douglass is the Great (great?) grandfather of the family I care for! Please tell me you still have the song.
    You, my friend, are a brilliant woman and talented artist. Your love for your family is unmeasurable. I could go on….
    Allow no one to to hold your self-esteem bar. Life is so much better when you can hold on to the attitude: I like it and that’s all that matters:)

    1. Oh that I had that letter-I think I would frame it just to remind me of the brave and unfettered child I was! And, you my friend are too sweet and I am in danger of growing an ego if I listen to you 😉 a wink and a hug xo

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