There are a few people whom I don’t mind receiving texts from at 06h30 on a weekday morning. I’ll make time to read and reply if need be. The list includes my 2 sisters, my parents, my eldest aunt (who never does this but if she should I’d chat away because she’s hip like that) and very close friends. Everyone else should pick a number because I’m either busy with very important things (like catching up on emails and reading blog posts from my favourite bloggers) or cleaning the house while I allow my daughters to get in a few more minutes of sleep.
This morning one of my close friends sent me a text informing me of a writing competition she saw in the Kuier magazine. The fact that she was a close friend got her an immediate reply. The fact that she thought of me when she saw the competition got her extra credits. To me it confirmed that she believes in me enough and thinks that I do stand a chance at winning. How’s that for starting my day? Pretty awesome, I tell you.
I’ve been writing for the past 4 years and have been sharing of my stories (the ones I didn’t write as a ‘ghost writer’) with said friend and about 2 others on occasion. They have been loving what I’ve come up with thus far but my inner critic is never satisfied. To me their opinions are valuable but they’re my friends so it makes them biased. You know that voice that tells you that you can’t do it and that no one will be interested in what you have to say? That same voice has been convincing me that people who know me personally will think I’m telling my life story (or parts thereof) and not believe for one minute that I actually made it up. It’s also the voice that made me want to quit blogging before I started. No matter how well I’ve been doing as a ghost writer (and believe me people love it), the fact that my name was never attached to the work kind of makes it seem that I didn’t write it. If you know what I mean. It is true that my characters do have some qualities that I wish I had (who wouldn’t want to be like Olivia Pope minus the love life triangle) or they bear resemblance to who I am but that’s where it ends.
Sunday evening while my sister and I got all excited over Brendan Daniels being nominated for a SAFTA award (which he won) she took it upon herself to be the other voice in my head telling me that I do have what it takes to be great. I’m mentioning Brendan because he’s someone we (more my sister, because I’m the kid sister) knows personally. He lives in my ‘hood’. I met him when I was a kid and have been following his career until he got his big break with the movie Four Corners. I’m proud of him for not giving up on his dream. I’ll be hunting him down for an interview soon and hopefully he’ll humour me but for now back to me.
My sister believes in me more than I do and she’s one of my fans not because of familial loyalty but because she actually thinks I’m worth it. Wowzers! Two people in a matter of days telling me that I do have what it takes. Inspired much? I’d have some serious issues in the self doubt department if that doesn’t make me want to shut myself from the world and finish my stories asap.
Although Afrikaans is not my mother tongue I’m inlove with the language and enjoy reading it as much as I do speaking it. It also helps that there is no tongue clicking involved so it’s safe to say that no is in any danger of me spitting all over the show as I do when I’m practicing Xhosa (which I do in the privacy of my home and K3 is not around to witness and mock me for my efforts). I will conquer that language pretty soon. Afrikaans happens to be a pretty great language to argue in at times (minus the profanity).
My Afrikaans writing is limited to *’opstelle’ at school, which I was forced to do pre realising my passion for the art. I have been dabbling in it for a while now and **”Ek dink ek is gereed. Dis my beurt.” Kuier magazine/LAPA Publishers competition here I come.
I may not be the best writer in the world or have the best story to tell have but I have a dream and it would be just silly to not pursue it. I would also be the biggest hypocrite alive if I don’t believe my own words when I ask people “What makes you think you’re so special that you can’t make it?”
This time I’m bracing myself and going public. Facing the unkown and gearing myself up for rejections. Hopefully there won’t be many but it will add to my success story one day. After all most success stories started with plenty of rejections so why would I want to defy the norm in that way 😉
How did you feel when you first started writing/blogging? Were you afraid that people won’t be interested in what you have to say?
** “I think I’m ready. It’s my turn.”