So, it’s been a while since I’ve written. Yeah, I know, not that long ago I said I was back and I had stuff to write about, but…ya know.
I was invited by Coach Daddy to write my 6 Words for the month of September. September is Self Improvement Month. I was asked in 6 Words what would I like to upgrade about myself. Now, I could have definitely gone with physical traits, slimmer figure anyone? But I settled upon this:
To Find More Faith in Myself
After writing this, I felt it warranted some explanation.
I’m not a very confident person. I second guess (well actually let’s make that third, fourth and fifth guess) myself A LOT. There are very few people that I am completely open with and being the true Pisces that I am, there is a million and one things racing through my brain at ALL moments of the day. And sometimes those thoughts slip off into an alternate reality where I feel more relaxed and calmer in my own skin. Creativity of the mind can sometimes be a dangerous thing.
Lately, I’ve been finding myself catering to those creative needs of mine. I finished my children’s book, published the larger version (still working on the smaller, more affordable one) and now I’m venturing on to one of my true passions, script writing. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve written a script. I forgot how much I LOVE it! I think the last time I wrote a script was over 10 years ago. That one I actually filmed. I had the support of some really great, talented actors and friends and after completing production, I never edited it together. I have a trailer for it, but that’s all. During post-production of the film, my Nanie became ill with cancer. My time was focused on her until she passed, that and I was planning my own wedding. When my Nanie did eventually pass, it took a long time for me to even want to take that time to sit in front of a computer and edit. By the time I was up to it, the whole project had changed for me. It felt entirely different and it just didn’t hold that same “magic” that it once did. I was no longer happy with what was done and I scrapped the project. I know it wasn’t fair to those individuals who took their time to bring this project to life, but I couldn’t put something out that I was no longer visually proud of.
So now, for me to be excited to sit down and write like this again, well, it’s a BIG deal to me. (I have to give some major props to Midnight Cinderella and Ikemen Cybird for a great story app, which is what my script is based off of.) And this is where my 6 Words ties in. Getting the confidence in myself to send something out for complete strangers to read and judge. Just the thought of it clenches at my heart and makes my stomach turn into an atrium full of butterflies. Rejection terrifies me. It always has. I’ve always worried too much of what other people have thought of me, more so of my writing because my writing is essentially an extension of my soul. It’s where I can be honest, open, creative…myself. So putting something I’ve written out there is the same to me as walking the streets naked, which no one wants to see (trust me). It’s frightening as hell! This is probably the reason why I’ve been shuffling me feet at making the more affordable version of my book available. I do want it out there, but at the same time it’s terrifying.
So what do you do about?
Time for me to grow some cojones!
I’m 35, it’s time for me to open myself up a little more and put myself out there. I deserve to have my dreams taken seriously too and the only way to do that is to grow a thicker layer of skin and jump out into that scary unknown. (deep breaths, right?) I always tell my daughter that she can be whatever she wants when she grows up, as long as she is willing to work for it. Why am I not listening to my own advice? Well, it’s a heck of a lot easier to dish it out than actually follow it, am I right? But what example does that set for my daughter? If she sees me not willing to put myself out there and go for it, will she do the same when she is older? If writing is my true passion and it’s something that makes me truly happy, why deny myself that?
So here we go. Asking for those encouraging, good vibes. Time for this 35 year old to grow up and follow her dreams.
I am so happy that my friend, Shannon, over at Radio Chick Reflections agreed to do another guest post for me. We live far apart from one another (California and Canada), but we get each other and subsequently share some of the same interests. One being writing and publishing our own books. Shannon has already self published one children’s book and is in the process of doing the same with her second! Go Shannon! And now, without further ado, Shannon over at Radio Chick Reflections:
I’m honoured to do a guest post for my friend Tammie’s blog, The Graying Chronicles. Although I haven’t met Tammie – we know each other through Twitter, and have bonded over our similar love for the Imagination Movers(!) – she has been one of my biggest cheerleaders and supporters as I’ve done something I really, really wanted to do: write children’s books.
I’ve always been a big believer in having dreams and ambitions, and in finding a way to realize them. The dreaming part is easy. However, it’s not always easy to find a way to realize them, and, let’s be honest, life gets in the way. It gets busy, and our passions get set aside and put on the shelf to collect dust while all our responsibilities are taken care of. That most certainly happened to me. I used to write a lot when I was younger. In fact, I even went away to school to be a journalist. But after I worked at a television station in Toronto, Ontario for a few years, I decided I wanted to do something different, and I ended up becoming a high school teacher. And for the last 13 years that is what I have done, along with becoming a wife and a mom.
As that all happened, my writing (and other things I had a passion for) stopped. I didn’t think I had time for it, and I didn’t make time for it. That changed at the beginning of this year. I had seen Tammie writing blog posts for a blog hop called Ketchup With Us, and though I didn’t think I was good enough or prepared to participate, I saw the prompt for their first blog hop of the new year, and decided to write a post for my work blog (at a radio station – where I work part-time while on extended leave from teaching). It was about goals for the new year. And it got me thinking seriously about making the most of the time I have at home before the craziness of going back to my full-time teaching job starts again. Most importantly, it forced me to write down what I wanted to do (with the spare time I had), and make a commitment to do it.
One of the things on that list was make time to follow my bliss. Initially, it meant to start singing lessons again, after 14 years, and record a CD. However, it quickly turned into writing a children’s book. I already had an idea, based on some experiences I’ve had in adulthood in my job, and so I just wrote…and wrote…and wrote…Having two children who love books means I also have many, many books on my shelves here, and so I knew my idea was a different one, although it dealt with a topic that is commonplace: bullying. I thought about contacting a publisher, but I really had no idea how to do that: Where do I go? Who do I contact? What do I send? And, to be honest, I thought it would be just be my mom and me who would be buying the book, so I decided I would try to self-publish. A former high school student of mine has recently self-published several novels (a whole different beast!), and so I got the idea from her and did some research. I found the Blurb website, which allowed me to download a program called BookSmart, an incredibly easy program to use that has a good variety of text and picture layouts.
Self-publishing is great because you do have total control of everything, and you don’t have to wait on publishers and worry about rejection. I am a sensitive person, and I know that if I was rejected by publishers I would feel terrible and unmotivated. And my passion for writing would, once again, be put on the shelf to collect dust. One negative about self-publishing, however, is that you have to do all of the promotion yourself. If you’re hoping to sell thousands of copies of your book, you need to do a lot of work. That wasn’t my goal. I just wanted to have something that I created sitting on a bookshelf to show my kids. It would be a symbol to them that you need to follow your dreams and make them happen. And I had very low expectations (again, I thought it would be my mom and me buying a few copies and that would be it). Fortunately we have social media to allow us to do our own promotion quickly and easily, and so I used Twitter and Facebook to announce to my friends and family that I had written a book. And to my surprise, people bought it (including my cheerleader Tammie)!
Now I have just finished my second book (I actually wrote it months ago but needed an illustrator – another thing that can be a problem when you self-publish), and I have been trying to perfect it over the last few weeks so I can finally hit the “publish” button.
I did shop this one around to a few publishers, via email only (I am a control freak and the thought of printing and sending manuscripts away without knowing what will happen to them was unsettling), but I got no responses. If that had happened with my first book, I would have been disappointed and dejected. With this one, that’s not the case. Sure, it’s disappointing when you think you have a terrific idea and you want others to think the same but they don’t. But it doesn’t mean I can’t complete my creation and put it out there for others to enjoy. And that’s why I wanted to write children’s books. I know that I have followed my bliss, I have created something I approve of, and I have written something my children will enjoy. Now to get to that CD…