“Hey, I read your article in (insert name of magazine here)! It was good! I didn’t know you write…”
I get that every now and then. Some friend or classmate from long ago will send me a message from out of the blue, telling me that he or she read an article that I wrote. Most likely, an article from long ago, as well. I used to write regularly for a local parenting magazine (until the company folded up). And then I made use of my ‘connections’ and submitted to other parenting magazines and wrote freelance.
I chose to write about parenting because
I am such an expert basically, for the past 13 years, that’s what I have been focusing my energy and attention on… Being a parent. I can’t say I am the perfect mom, but boy, do I try hard to be a good one. I write about parenting to extend whatever knowledge — or help — that I can to other parents who may be in need.
I haven’t written anything of value for quite some time now. Sigh. The last write-up I submitted was supposed to be out six or so months ago. Or so I thought. After following it up with the editor I sent it to — and buying a copy of the magazine every month since the time I sent the article, I lost all hope already that it will get printed in this lifetime. Double sigh.
Truth be told, I can’t help but cringe whenever someone asks me what I do and I answer, “I’m a writer.” I feel that I am only as good as my last published article… and since I haven’t been published lately, then I don’t feel good enough. Maybe I can say, “I’m a fake writer.”
Oh, but I have been living a writer’s life — or at least the impression of how a writer’s life should be. I stay in front of the computer for long hours, hoping, wishing, praying for sudden inspiration… I drink lots of coffee… I go out midday so I can have a change in atmosphere… My room just suddenly feels stuffy and I don’t get inspired so I go out to have a change in perspective… Also to get more coffee…I watch the people I see, hoping to derive something from their actions… sometimes I end up just watching them for the fun of it. No new article, no new lesson learned, maybe a bit of gossip here and there (Pathetic, I know!).
I bring a notebook everywhere I go. I have about 3 pens in my bag to make sure that I am ready when that sudden inspiration strikes and I have to jot something down. Most often than not, I end up listing down my expenses for the week — and then I close the notebook right away. Who wants to be reminded of expenses, anyway?
I have my own laptop — this precious thing that I use for my blogs — and sometimes I bring it to complete my “writer look.” Picture me: Coffee shop, alone, pensive look, cup of coffee and salad on the side, typing away on my laptop, writing the next bestseller — or best article. See, I can fake it! I really can.
But where’s the article? Zilch. Nada. None.
I don’t know if it is the lack of inspiration or my lack of self-belief. I have always been a shy writer. I don’t advertise myself. I don’t even tell my friends that I blog! Sometimes I get so tempted to hit the “share in Facebook” button… but I can’t. I tell myself that people will find my blog — whether by chance or by some divine intervention– if they are destined to find it.Same thing with the articles I write. I don’t go around broadcasting to the world that “Hey, I got published today!!” I am just too shy… or maybe I don’t like my work to be judged by someone I know.
Talk about the “I’m not good enough” syndrome. Maybe, inadvertently, I am pushing away future writing projects by projecting to the world — to the air, or to whatever — that I don’t think I am a good enough writer.
It’s time for some changes. Maybe I’ll get denied or rejected in the process — like I have been several times before — but then if I want to see a freshly published work, then I have to start somewhere, right? I have to be bold enough, brave enough, I have to look up the contacts that can help me this time around.
But first I have to start with myself. I cannot get published if I don’t write.
Note to self: You cannot make others believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself first.
credits: all photos taken from google images