January 29, 2014

It’s My Own Damn Fault


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.

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