I spent my birthday quietly, thanks everyone for the birthday wishes! Promoted a few of my friends' work and had an interesting discussion with Stephen Zimmer. He asked me if I didn't want the success and the fame why was I working and going at it so hard. I told him I wanted to be protected. It made me think. From what? Success? Failure? Disappointment? Well I do want the success and I have always been ambitious.
The truth is, I have always been a driven person. Even as a kid. I wanted to be the best at what I did. But with the writing contests I could never unlock the mystery to winning the competition. Winning I’ve found to be two parts writing from the heart. One half part finding the right reader. And one half part dumb luck. And all of it born from busting your ass on a daily basis.
Still you can go your whole life and never win a damn thing and go without signing a single solitary contract.
I find I’m still as obsessed as ever where it comes to winning. But somewhere along the way I lost the mentality that I was an ‘imposter’. I think it happened somewhere along the 13 books that are now out and the myriad of contracts I’ve signed and the self-publishing ventures I’ve made.
None of this came to me gift wrapped in a box with a box on it. It started when I was kid and the bibulous desire to write and create was stirred in me by the acts of reading, watching television, and going to the movies. I thought I want to do that. At five years of age. Now that would take a while to crystallize into any form of validation of my writing. But the desire was there. I was given wonderful teachers who introduced me to the Success program where we had a notebook and once a week we were given a prompt and we would write stories about them.
I wanted success. But I found only emotional truth brought any kind of success. I kind of stumbled onto this when I was 13 when I wrote a short story about the French Underground and the survival of people living in the woods. This was way before I ever knew about the Bielski Brothers and the movie Defiance. I’m 39 years old now it’s been awhile since I wrote the story. But inside of it was the story of survival, and a love story. (I had a boyfriend at the time.) The name of the book was A Candle In the Darkness. I won my school’s competition for it and received a medal at a county wide awards ceremony.
Validation. Emotional truth and people responded to it.
But it was a lesson I had to hear and learn again several times over. But this last time. When I started the blog, by the time I had graduated therapy I had learned the lesson. But talking to Stephen tonight made me think about why I was so nervous, so scared of going to Film-Com.
I’m just as afraid of success as I am of failure. I’ve gotten some blowback recently that I won’t go into here from people that I love and adore and I don’t want to lose them because I’m ‘livin’ above my raising’.
I forfeited a booklaunch. Stephen if you’re reading this please attach book launch back to screening of Letters to Daniel. But please try to slide in the one thing we were talking about.
I do want the fame and the glory, but I always write because the stories in me drive me to write them. I don’t control them. They most definitely control me LOL. I want to be financially set. I don’t want to have to struggle anymore. I want the power to meet my heroes on equal footing.
I work really fucking hard at what I do. And for people to dismiss that or take it personally really bothers me. The list goes like this:
7. Debbie & Frank
Everything else is secondary. I’m starting to be known on the scene here locally. Now just to find a way to make that spread out. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Thank you Stephen for setting me straight tonight. Film-Com here I come!