I missed last month’s Alex J. Cavanaugh’s IWSG post while trying to recoup from the A to Z Challenge, but I’m back now. Actually I’m in Las Vegas on business, but you get the point. This month I want to discuss protecting our insecurities, and as they say…the best defense is a good offense!
I’ve spoken many times about my theme for 2012 as far as my writing career goes -- Making it uncomfortable in my comfort zone. Well, we are almost mid-way through the year and it’s time to take stock of how I’m doing.
In short, I’m laying siege to it.
Most of you who’ve been following me for awhile know that I’m a card carrying introvert (quite a few writers are). I also suffer from acute shyness (no, it’s not the same thing as being introverted). And any of you who experience the same maladies know that there is no “fixing” them, you simply learn how to cope. But in order for me to achieve my writing goals I needed to stop avoiding situations where my personality would be tested. I also had to swallow whatever imagined insecurities I allowed to erode my confidence and step out of my cozy little world. The best way to do that was to shake things up and go on the offensive. Let’s see how I’ve done.
In 5+ months of 2012, I started off by joining a new in-person writers group, I sent out about 35 query letters, took part in the A to Z Challenge, participated in a “touchy feely” leadership development camp, attended my first major writers conference…by myself, submitting my writing for public scrutiny at the conference, made an in-person pitch to an agent, and interacted with my critique partners via direct phone calls. Now this might not seem like much to some of you, but for me…my comfort zone is shaking like a leaf.
The real question is -- has any of it paid off? It’s still too early to tell and the truth is that most of these efforts are meant to change my direction, not hit a particular target. It’s not pleasant, and sometimes downright unsettling, but you have to ask yourself how committed are you to this journey? If your answer is the same as mine, then there’s only one thing to do.