Baby Step

When somebody says they think I’m brave or gutsy or full of confidence, I have to snort. It’s nice that I can appear that way, but fear; fear of rejection, fear of the unknown, fear of pain, fear of unintentionally hurting somebody, fear is an emotion I battle with on a regular basis. Especially this past year which has been filled with dramatic life changes: I left my stable job as a public school teacher, I left Joshua Tree after having lived there for fifteen years, I got married for a second time (after a pretty devastating first marriage) – all of which meant brand-new starts in a new place.

Many of those changes though felt as if there was an order or logic to them: steps I could follow. Moving meant looking for a new house to rent, packing boxes, enrolling Bella in a new school – things that I couldn’t very well procrastinate or ignore.

On the other hand, deciding that I wanted to be a free-lance writer has felt much more arbitrary and formless, and therefore easier to procrastinate and ignore – so in some ways I have.

Yes, I’ve kept up with womantalk.org and written many, many daily posts. Yes, I got a job as a website manager/copywriter. Yes, I get paid to write press releases. But the real work I had intended for myself, that of writing about art, has remained hovering out of reach. I am embarrassed to admit that my first attempt at contacting an editor and “selling” myself didn’t happen until last month. Last month. That’s nearly a year of practically pooping my pants at the thought of being rejected as writer.

A month ago, I contacted the editor of ArtScene to let him know I was interested in writing art reviews.

And yesterday I found out that…

They’re going to give a me shot this month at writing a blurb for their “Continuing and Recommended” section, which neither pays well nor gives me by-line credit – but no matter – the most difficult part is past, I’m in!

It kills me that I could have done this a year ago and I didn’t. I’m going to see art and write about it for folks I don’t know. Good grief, I guess I am brave.

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