You know what? It’s largely my own damn fault it’s taken me this long to get where I am in writing and publishing. This isn’t self-pity nor a guilt thing ~ it’s a fact.
The reason I say this is because time and again the reason I haven’t moved forward on these dreams is because I wouldn’t allow myself to dream them, or I got in my own way, or I sabotaged my own success.
Sure, there are outside forces at work as well. I could go on and on listing them. But, really, a large part of why it took me so long was because I wouldn’t let myself, I didn’t put myself out there, I didn’t believe I had worth.
For example, this piece from Kelli Russell Agodon, editor of the Crab Creek Review, about what she learned as an editor:
Submit Like a Man (for the women)--
This has become a mantra I've shared with my women friends because here's a trend we've noticed as editors.
When we tell a writer we like their work and ask them to submit again, the male poets will submit work within a month (two at the very latest) of our asking. The women writers? We usually never hear from them again or until a year or more later.
This is the perfect example. I have been asked to submit again at some pretty great places. For the most part, I have not submitted again. Rapid resilience is a huge part of success ~ my only saving grace is my pigheadedness. Eventually I pick myself up and have another go.
In so many other ways, I have had a failure to dream, a failure to apply myself. I could blame it on my upbringing or whatever ~ and certainly it’s contributed ~ but moreso it’s about me not valuing myself.
Like putting myself out there in a book of short stories. Once again I sat back waiting for someone else to give me permission. “Am I good enough? Someone please tell me what I have to say is worth something!” No. I need to tell myself what I have to say is worth something.
And now that the first book is out, I feel like I’ve taken my power back, like that power I granted the outside world (which has been very kind to me, but it has its own agenda) has shifted. I’ve always had this power ~ I just haven’t let myself believe it.
You do too. Take it.