For the past several years, I’ve truly enjoyed any opportunity I could grab to edit for someone else. A couple of times, that’s materialized into the chance to edit books – and I loved every word of it. Meanwhile, I quietly turned an idea I have for a novel over and over in my mind, but I committed very little to the page. I let myself get caught up in excuses like ‘I don’t know the character well enough to write about their story yet’. But when I told a couple of people about a rough sketch of the narrative arc in my brain, no one told me it sucked. They actually asked questions that seemed like maybe it was something even a handful of people might read.
During that same time, I quietly typed away at a private blog. Though it’s been largely abandoned since I took my current job, 75 posts sit waiting on a shelf. I insisted that once I had a proper blog title, I’d do something public. But finding a proper blog title? That could take an overthinker like me years…and it did.
Last week I had a conversation with a wonderful person that I love and admire. The advice she gave was that I didn’t lack the talent, I lacked the courage to ship. It didn’t need to be perfect, she assured me, it just needed to be a habit. Something I gave to myself each day.
People close to me have rightly pointed out that I fritter away my words on social media, choosing to hide behind the narrative I create rather than do something of substance somewhere else. And it’s true. This blog is no guarantee that I won’t still spend words on Facebook, but it’s also a commitment to put my own voice into the world.