I was raised by two wonderful parents that instilled into me that I could do and be anything that I wanted, even back in the dark ages of the 1950s and 60s. I’m not sure why they were so surprised then I wanted to be a truck driver. Back in those days there just wasn’t many women truck drivers.
When my husband and I decided to start-up a concrete pouring business, they thought I was going to be the bookkeeper. They never thought I would be down in the dirt and mud, building forms and over seeing the pouring of basement walls.
By the time I found a job on a spraying crew that kept the back woods electrical lines cleared for the power company vehicles, they were accustom to my crazy list of job. Again I was the only woman on the crew of five men.
I wasn’t trying to prove anything, it was just that most jobs that were considered jobs for women, bored the hell out of me. Being outdoors or driving across the country was much more adventurous than sitting in an office, typing, filing and of course back then, getting the boss his coffee. Like I said, the dark ages.
I might have been insecure regarding my appearance, as most young women are, but I was never insecure regarding what I could accomplish. If I thought I wanted to try something, I did just that. If I liked something, I would stick with it until something else stole my interest. Seems as I look back now, once I had conquered something I wanted to move on to the next adventure.
Then I started writing. I became an insecure mess. My friends and family would read what I was working on and praise my work. All taken with a grain of salt. After all, how often does your friends and family tell you what ever you are doing is a bunch of crap? I’m lucky enough to have friends and family that will tell me to write a sentence this way or that, but so far I haven’t heard the crap word from them. Are they too polite or am I turning into a good writer?
When I’m reading other works, I still wish I could write this person or that person. I find myself wondering if I will ever be as good as others. I re-read my work and pick it to death, yet I don’t re-write a lot. Is this good or is this bad? I became a second guesser when I started writing. I became insecure.
My first book, a fictional story based on things that had happened to me and some of my friends back in the sixties, for the most part was true. So I did embellish almost all of the sex scenes. Hell, if I would have had that much sex I would probably be dead long ago. I wanted people to read it but was afraid of the judgment.
My second book, which I believe to be a much better book, I want everyone to read, just to prove I am improving. Then comes the insecure part. Sales have been good for an unknown author, in my opinion. Trying to get those readers to write a review is enough to make D. J. Salinger be insecure.
I have learned that becoming an author will bring the strongest person to their knees. That first bad review stabs you in the heart. You wonder why you even put yourself out there for all the world to see. You turn into an insecure mess, not just once but several times a day.
I get up each morning with a bright new outlook as I sit down at my desk. I always read what I wrote the day before to set the mood. On my good days I do not crumble into a heap doubting how the last chapter ended. When I do crumble into that heap of doubt, I climb back out, dust myself off and listen to the words from long ago. I can do anything I want in my life.
I do doubt that I will ever stop writing because I conquered this part of my life. Rather, I will keep trying until I can’t any longer.