I just sent a query to a writing blog about writing a guest post (in response to their call for guest writers). I’m excited and happy because, even if I don’t get accepted, I’ve done something that I’ve been afraid of and that is exactly what I’ve been striving for this year – to get past my fears, to get past my illness and move forward. To accept rejection as a part of life but also as something positive, not negative. After all, one can’t be rejected unless one lets down the walls and stands naked (or just partially unclothed to start) before the world.
BUT – isn’t there always a but? – I’m extremely nervous. After all, writing about writing means that I believe that I have something to say about writing that will teach or inspire someone else. And that, my friends, requires a certain amount of self-confidence. It requires me to move past being solely a student of writing. I say solely because one never, or should never, stop learning. So the question remains…am I qualified to make such a step?
I want to at least try. I recently gave a small presentation to a group about writing and selling short stories. It was well received as I was given many compliments but boy, was I scared the entire time (in addition to technical writing, I teach adults how to do their jobs for a living so I can’t blame it on stage fright). All eyes were on me as if I had the magic formula for publishing stories. Really I just tried to provide solid commonsense advice and make the process a little less like a maze with a minotaur waiting for them at the end. One or two of the group had published and they complimented me at the end so obviously I did something right.
Does this and a few small writing credits make me qualified? I guess one way to answer that question is to say that we learn something even from the worst teachers. Now that answer does not inspire much confidence I know. But it is still the truth. The short of the matter is that I’ll never know if I have anything worthwhile to say or teach unless I try. And if I try and fail once or twice, or many times, I will have learned something each time. Experience is a great teacher.
Like the crew of the Enterprise, in all its various incarnations, I will boldly go.