I think of myself as a big chicken, bumpy white flesh and all, so I loved Silver Lining Mama ‘s “Stick out Your Neck” post yesterday. It reminded me that the older I’ve gotten, the braver I’ve become. I worry (a little) less about what others think.
Back in 1997, I participated in a Northern Nevada Writing Project Invitational—a workshop for teachers, based on the premise that we practice what we teach. We wrote. And wrote. I become comfortable with sharing my writing. Two years later, I began contributing to a decidedly left-leaning (granola-eating, tree-hugging, feminist…), opinion column in our local newspaper, The Nevada Appeal. That experience toughened me up. My name and face go above every column. For better or worse, I own my words.
The newest neck-sticking-out adventure for me was writing a NaNoWriMo novel and joining The Lone Mountain Writers, a respected, local critique group. Talk about feeling exposed! The first time I had a piece up for review was like my worst showing-up-naked-at-work nightmare. Now five years later, I’ve survived and—more importantly—learned. The other members are wise, talented, honest, thoughtful, and kind.
Thanks for reminding me that being brave isn’t about not being scared. It’s about being afraid and taking that step anyway. So here I am, blogging. If I’m lucky, no one will even notice my bumpy white skin.