Every writer doubts themselves. But what happens when the doubts, fears, and insecurities muffle their creativity? One day they’re writing up a storm, celebrating goals, then the next…FROZEN.
I’ve most recently experienced the dreaded FROZEN feeling most writers hope to avoid. I went through a swirl of emotions trying to understand the path I was taking and was petrified for one reason or another I was doing all the wrong things. It was quite nerve-wracking going through all of those doubts, fears, and insecurities. But the inspiration to continue came from the most unexpected place, imaginable: The playground.
I love listening to the weird things my daughter and some of her friends say. One day, after sports practice, my daughter zoomed down the slide, climbed the highest ladder, then made her way down to the swings. There were two girls, about three years older than her, in princess costumes, swinging on their bellies singing “I Knew You Were Trouble,” by Taylor Swift.
“Mommy, I want to go on the swings,” she whispered, so the girls wouldn’t hear.
“Well then, you’ll have to go over there and ask to have a turn,” I said. She looked frightfully doubtful and I felt like a complete ass, but I knew this was good for her. Pressing past her doubts and asking for what she wanted, bravely. I told her to go for it.
“What if they say no? They’re older than me,” she asked. Her little lips were pressed together in a straight line, seriously mulling it over.
“It’s okay if they say no. You go play on the slide, then when they leave, you get a turn. Either ask or wait,” I said. I watched, proudly, a few moments later, as she approached the girls. She is MY daughter, after all – we’re not known for our patience, but we sure as hell have courage.
Just then, the frilly princess/diva girls had began singing “Let it go”…and making loud flatulence noises. It was then I knew everything would be okay. I bit back my laughter because it was disgusting, but … cute. I was unsuccessful at holding in my amusement. Low and uncontrollable laughter bubbled up and escaped my lips. What I thought was expendable joy warmed the soul, from the tips of my toes to the ends of time, the irony washed over me with refreshing humor. Seeing an uncharacteristic change from the gloominess I’d been reflecting that day, my husband asked what was going on as he sat down beside me on the bench, hauling our daughter’s sports equipment.
“Oh, you know. Girls will be girls,” I gave him a wide smile, snorted in laughter, and nodded my head over to the swings. He grinned. Our daughter had gotten her turn on the swing, and her anxiety and doubt had diminished as she giggled about the song with the girls.
In all their innocent fun, my daughter and those girls reminded me of a few things that day, I’d lost sight of in my anxiety:
Fear only has as much control as we give it.
Doubt keeps us from enjoying the journey.
Situations and people aren’t always what or who they seem to be.
Just because a person has more experience, doesn’t mean they’ll instantly reject ideas from someone new to their circle.
It’s wise to seek and ‘hang out’ with those who are genuinely interested in seeing you succeed and don’t mind sharing the spotlight with you. Otherwise, it’s not worth the energy to worry over any type of rejection or resentment from them-openly or in private.
Joy comes from venturing out into the unknown, making yourself a little uncomfortable, even at the cost of being rejected.
Here’s the most important lesson I took from the playground that day:
DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT AND GO FOR IT.
So, that’s what I’m doing.
At this time in my life, I have to consolidate my social media presence to the point of what works for me. I’m not writing this post to give an explanation to anyone about my actions, but I have a feeling many writers juggling several things have been in the same boat as me, if they are completely honest with themselves. I wonder how many writers have several genres and brands they are managing for the sake of compartmentalizing their creativity. I also am curious as to how they don’t drive themselves mad with distractions, spreading out their online presence in so many directions. There are no lack in resources on how to simplify the management online presence. What I’ve had to consider is the elephant in the room: using the information and resources I’ve researched in these areas to find what works best for me. I think I’m doing a fair job by letting this blog be a central point for all writing projects.
I’ve realized, over the past several months and with my writing interactions on a business level, the main person I owe anything to is myself. Being true to who I am. And I refuse to be one-dimensional. I’ve fought the battle of doubt, and thankfully I lost that day, on the playground. Unconventionality is a true joy in life, not many have the opportunity or guts to express.
I haven’t openly announced that I’ve written, published, and received several five star reviews on my newest erotic fiction book until now (thank you to those who left the thoughtful and beautiful reviews. I’m humbled by your support and thrilled you liked my story. – Uhm. Yeah. This is one of those uncomfortable moments when I brag a little. Swear I’m not a constant braggart. But, damn it, it’s encouraging to know people enjoyed my writing.) Despite the positive responses from those around me, doubt has kept me from it.
I thought I had to choose. Be a Mom and write sweet romance or be a saucy minx Mom keeping a double presence (to a certain extent a ‘double presence’ is necessary, being that a children’s book project SHOULD be kept separate from fictional romance because they are two polar opposite concepts. That is why the children’s book project I’m working on has a completely separate pen name.)
I’m the same, no matter what name I write under. The material may be different, but I am me. Period. I have always been the type of person to strive to be transparent, even online. It’s not much work, honestly, just being me. But it’s more efficient to post any writing announcements or news here and also on my author website.
FEAR ONLY HAS AS MUCH CONTROL AS WE GIVE IT.
This is me taking that fear away. I write sweet and steamy romance under the name Laurie Kozlowski.
Most recently, since my daughter has told me she wanted to be an author, I’ve began writing a children’s book with her to help support her dreams. I hope to give some of the proceeds to a children’s charity as the project grows, over time.
I also write erotic fiction under the pen name of Roxie Nash.
I write what I want to write, regardless of who’s on the playground. If someone doesn’t like it, I have a princess crown I put on especially for those occasions and can make the loudest mock-flatulence noises known to humanity, pointed in the direction of the naysayers. Because my daughter loves that crap (the disgusting flatulence noises.) And though she’s not quite tall enough for the monkey bars and I often lift her up, she’ll always be my Shero. <3