It is so easy to lose perspective
when reality sets in. You might have
noticed some of the posts lately seem to suggest that possibility, well let’s
be closer to the truth and say it has reflected a certain I would not say
negativity but a loss of confidence definitely. There is so much to consider. I
thought about it quite a bit after Alison’s last post. She asked what happened. A simple question but one that it appears is
a hard one to answer easily yet she brought back positivity just by asking so
maybe we don’t need to answer anything. Questioning, and losing confidence is a
major part of anything we do in life but letting these things prevent you from
moving forward is when it becomes a problem.
I think it is normal to have these
doubts. In fact it reminded me of why I
began this blog. I had sat on the idea
for a long time afraid of what I could say, would say, how I said it, was I worth
listening to and goodness knows how many other thoughts. Realisation appeared
one day in the form of someone in the mirror (Me) and the person looking into
the mirror (surprise, surprise Also Me) telling the other to stop being so
self-involved and concentrate on what you would be giving if you went ahead
instead. The conversation went something
Also me: What do you
mean by self-involved?
Me (said in a profound manner): Nothing much except that everything seems to
be about you. If you are so worried
about how you sound and seem to others then isn’t the value negated of anything
Also me (quite taken back and feeling defensive): I say! That’s a bit harsh, don't you think? Please
Me (replying in a profound manner): Well, what do you want to achieve? You obviously have expectations or you
wouldn’t be making the effort. So, what
do you want? A pat on the head? Some
sort of validation for perceived cleverness?
Also me (slightly miffed at the other’s tone): No! Yes! No! I don’t know!
Me (agitated and aggravated):
Well, you should know so which is it? Now you, please explain!
Also me: I wanted to
build an audience for the magical day I published and I don’t know about the
rest. I wanted to, I don’t know how to explain this but I wanted to make other
people out there with the same dreams feel they weren’t alone.
Me: Well shut up then
and start paying it forward.
Also Me: What do you
mean? Can’t you speak English? Do you mean the film?
Also Me (a little hesitant):
I am not totally sure I get it.
Me (totally exasperated): Voice your doubts, describe the
journey, share ideas on how to do things, interact with other authors with
reviews. Go big, forget the three and go
for broke. Your audience is made up of readers but readers also have their
agendas and need to feel valued. Give by
talking, by recommending others and their work, and maybe, just maybe it will
all come back in ways you can’t imagine.
Well suddenly it all made sense and I
kept repeating Paying it Forward, Paying it Forward like a mantra until I
sat down and started doing it. For those
of you that haven’t seen this movie then do yourself a favour and see it but
don’t expect an academy award film although I personally love it. Subjective is the word of the hour, the day
and forever I think. Do expect however an academy award concept because that it
has in abundance. In short the concept
involves doing something nice for three people for no other reason than doing
something nice. Those three people each
do something nice for three other people.
Notice the numbers are starting to build? If you continue the process
imagine where you might end up? Of
course the film is about specific good deeds but is it so wrong to apply it to writing
and readers and thus to the blog?
And then I realised I had already
been doing some paying it forward. I always write reviews. Good or bad is not as important as writing
them. It helps build a writer’s status
and gives invaluable feedback. I am not
saying I am good at it but I try. I have
also written to authors over the years to let them know they are appreciated,
and I have always tried to find ways to share information and to learn from
others. The difference now is there is a platform, and this platform is shared. I wanted more voices not because I didn’t
trust mine but because it meant we could give more. Kay and Alison were the first of the paybacks
I have received where writing is concerned.
The need to learn more and meet others and exchange information led to
my meeting them. Coming together with them has added a huge dimension to my
life. It improves my thoughts, sharpens my perspective and gives me insight
into two great minds. They make the blog so much better with their input and
personalities. With luck they will make
an impact through their books as well. People need to know they are not alone in
their fears. Voicing them as we often do
in our posts is sharing on a most personal level, and we hope it inspires
others even in the smallest way. Do we hope it eventually inspires them to buy
our books? Of course we do but it is
just a drop in the ocean to feeling we may be doing some good out there just by
doing what we love – writing. I am excited to hear from others, we all are and
have met some great people along the way.
The payback for me personally has
been overwhelming in the last few weeks.
My beautiful cousin and wonderful writer Angie Rega (see her web page on
the front of the blog) sent me invaluable information about query letters over
Facebook whilst she was on sabbatical in Paris. Writers are incredibly generous
people. Gavin Austin, who allows me to call him a friend, sends me links to
some wonderful poetry and yes some of them are his, and he sends links to some
very helpful ways to improve writing in general and to publications. Two brilliant authors, Lindsay J Pryor and
Jacqueline Rhoades (both websites are listed on the front of the blog) offer help and advice that literally (nice use of the word)
blows me away and makes me so grateful I chanced upon their books. I welcome their help but just the pleasure
their books have given me over the last few years is enough. The blog will be
doing pieces on these people in the near future. I am so proud to think that a feature on them
will actually be on our blog that I can’t wait.
We also hope to showcase others.
Sharing doesn’t interfere with our work.
It makes everything better, it enhances.
Writing is multi-faceted and
problematic on its own from writer’s block and rejections and countless others
things that want to get inside our heads and kick some heavy duty bowling balls
around without us adding to it. The
thing is, we know the pitfalls already, so why worry now and not later as each
problem comes up? One of the best things
about working with two other people, and having so many others around us is
that it grounds us, brings us back on track. It makes the insurmountable surmountable. I think this may be the key to success; in
fact I am sure of it. Relying on others
to support you is strength, not weakness as long as you are willing to support
them. Offer first and it comes back to
give such joy that I sometimes think I am dreaming.