You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.–Rosalynn Carter
These were some of the last words I saw before going to bed last night. And this morning I’m feeling confident. Ta da!!! The Doubts family didn’t have a chance.
My writing plans are clearer. I’m sharing them with whomever crosses my path. You know, the plans with the new computer and school stories.
The back story is how long it’s taken me to get to this confident place. I’ve traveled incredibly dark nights, through stubbornly deep seated fears.
When I retired from teaching it was because of the last two years of my thirty year career. My pen had begun furiously scribbling classroom anecdotes, amusing dialogue, and detailed observations from Nature Lab, the hands-on science enrichment class I had created for young children. It was a positively magical environment (in my humble opinion) with a roomful of animals and an organic vegetable garden outside. But I was ready to move on, put this collection of notes together and share the story.
Two and a half years later with enough rejection slips to wallpaper my writing room my only child commits suicide. It was the darkest of nights. The confidence that was waning with each new publisher’s form letter announcing they had no room for my offering at this time was now completely sucked in to the nearest black hole.
And for several years all I could do was sit on my living room couch and journal. I was building another collection of notes. Notes for myself. Until I was ready to put them together to again try to share my story. This time I was publishing it myself. I realize now how much I really needed to see it and hold it, so I could let go of it. And I did. Later a friend’s small press reprinted it.
I still wanted to be a writer, but my confidence was shaky. I journaled on, maintaining long distance writing buddies, meeting weekly at Barnes and Noble with more writing buddies, sharing my experience in writing workshops, attending two silent retreats with Natalie Goldberg, forming a Wednesday Writers group in my home, writing blogs into cyberspace and reading, constantly reading.
This morning (after a wonderful Wednesday Writers meeting, no longer at my house) I feel it…really feel it. That confidence in my ability and the drive to follow through. And I’m back to school stories. To be told from a bit different perspective and from farther along the path.