There is a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt at the beginning of my second novel, Before the Dawn, which goes:-
‘We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face…………….we must do that which we think we cannot.’
These words are meant for Emma Grayson, the heroine of my trilogy, as she struggles to overcome the tragedies of her past and in this book really has to face her fears when she finds herself in a situation we would all find frightening.
Today however I am taking comfort in them for myself. You see, to date I have been writing secretly. I don’t mean that the people I live with don’t know that I write, of course they do. Otherwise there would be questions. Questions about what I was so engrossed in every moment I’m not doing my day job. Questions about the thousands of hours I spend pouring over words as I rewrite, and rewrite and rewrite. And questions that would have to be repeated in an increasingly louder voice in order to drag me back out of the fictional world I have created in my mind.
Having said that there is still a certain level of secrecy, even in my home, as I’m obsessive about all drafts of manuscripts being password protected, no one ever having any chance to glimpse even a word that I have actually written – until I am ready, really, really ready for them to do so.
When I talk about secrecy here I mean the immediate community around me. I have told those at a distance, safely spreading the word by email, by text once even by word when I managed to work myself up to do it. No it is those closest that I am struggling with. I am fortunate to live in a small, caring neighbourly village and I have lived here for a long time. I know a lot of people and they know me and they won’t be expecting this and I’m not sure what they will make of my book or what they will make of this different side of me.
You see until now I have hidden behind the pseudonym I have created for my writing but this week I have decided to join my local Writers Group – some of you, those who have already read my book may well be thinking that my decision to join a writers group comes not a moment too soon but as I say I have been writing incognito and I even contacted them under my pen name because I am such an idiot. However I know that at least one other person from my village goes to this group and that will be it, my cover blown. Because word will spread – those who live in villages will know this.
So this is the fear I am facing, I have no confidence, I never have done, not in anything in my entire life, and I am going cold and clammy just at the thought of putting myself out there. I am constantly in awe of all the writers I come across now on twitter, reading their blogs, their websites, their tweets, amazed at the things they do to publicize their books and I feel pathetic in comparison. So this is it, I have to grit my teeth, get on with it and ‘do that which we think we cannot’ in the hope that strength and confidence is gained and it is not just thought that I am a fool.
Currently reading ‘Deep in the Bin of Bob’ by Craig Stone