Not going to lie, though I jumped into creating this site like it was my job (wait...it kind of is), I've seriously procrastinated the hell out of completing it. The heavy lifting of the layout and content framework was done a long time ago. I'd even fluffed its pillows to make it nice and pretty. Filling in the content blanks and--oh, you know--PUBLISHING IT were the only things left to do.
Don't get me wrong, I thought about it every day. I'd tell myself I needed to knuckle down. Geesh, at LEAST start the interviews, KC! Those interviews require an example though, and that means I have to write the section about me.
So, how hard is that? If anyone knows me, it's me. I'm kind of an authority on me, in fact.
And so I began yet another day avoiding this website. In the middle of my everything-but-what-I-should-be-doing morning, I read Jessica Faust's daily post over at the BookEnds blog. Today, she wrote about "Letting Fear Control Your Career," and it woke me up. First with,
I'm amazed at how often adults make decisions because of fear of the unknown. Fear that they’ll fall, fear that someone will laugh, fear that they’ll fail. So what?
Next time you find yourself backing away from something new...take a step back and really look at why you’re backing away. Is it because your chest has tightened and the fear makes it difficult to breathe? Excellent! That means you go for it. Instead of looking at the fear as a warning of what you shouldn’t do, look at the fear as the driving factor to why you should.
Turns out the agent I've been following for years (since I first started writing with the intention to publish, back in 2009) handed out yet another posted pearl of wisdom that I needed. Surprise, surprise. That post put my finger smack on top of the subconscious reason I've been avoiding my website.
The internet world and my adult friends know me how I am now. Most weren't around to know every awkward, self-esteemless, quirky, fashion-faux-pas(ed), introverted thing about younger me. They may know I was "the fat girl" and "the goth girl," but I was the one in that girl's skin. Who in their right mind wants to go back and look at the derpy photos we've hidden from the world (and share them)? Or think about the crushes who broke our hearts with just how much they weren't into us (and admit it)? Or remember eating lunch alone? Or worse, eating it surrounded by kids whose goal was to see what it took to make us to cry (and picture their faces and describe the pain)? Somehow, the trips to Disneyland, the A+s on tests, and the things that made our young hearts smile are quieter memories than the other stuff--though they're still there if we try to think of them. Those Disneyland, A+ moments aren't what draw us together, anyway. Commonality comes from the fragile hearts of our youth. But I don't want to lay naked and vulnerable about all that stuff, ON THE INTERNET!
But that's the whole point.
I write characters with imperfections, sarcasm, weirdness--and yeah--some sadness. And I always will, because they resonate with who I was...who I still am, but have grown into. In the thick of things, I thought I was the only one getting bullied for how I looked and who I was. I thought it'd never end. But I wasn't, and it did.
One thing I know, if more people had been honest with their own not-perfect lives and self-doubts, I'd been less lonely. I'd have had a tribe. That's why, though, I write characters with imperfections, sarcasm, weirdness--and yeah--some sadness. I'll have book news here, of course--more than anything, I want this site to be a place where my readers can come for community. I want to interview both adults and teens who shed (or embraced) the labels others gave them and grew/are growing into their "otherness" to become successful versions of their quirky selves. I want to find people making differences in the world and find out their hows, whats, and whys, so they can inspire others to start change in their slivers of the planet. Not everyone I interview will have been bullied, but they'll all have a little "black sheep" in them, because those are the interesting people--you reading this, YOU'VE got something fascinating to share. I dare you.
Whew! No wonder I've been avoiding. Because what if the people I want to interview don't want to participate? What if no one comes to the site? What if they do?
What if I get on with it and stop letting fear keep me stalled out? Because Jessica Faust Said So. That's Why.