As I sat and looked around the tables that were in the shape of a U and listened to 20 or so others about what bought them here and what are they writing and why they are writing; I suddenly felt that I was unworthy to be there, sitting at that table, in that room, with those people.
The room was filled with people with far more life experience and better education than I ever had or will have. People who had Degrees and Masters in writing and literary.
As conversations began and finished about certain elements of story writing, I found that many of the books or movies that were discussed in relation to the topic I’ve A) never heard of, or B) never seen; and most of the authors that are spoken about I’ve never heard of either.
Often I found the conversation way over my head with words and terminology that were so unfamiliar. Often it sounded like they are talking a foreign language. I sat there dumbfounded; but also in awe of these people that had this wonderful knowledge to share. I was in awe of learning new words and theories. Expanding my mind.
I get frustrated though, because I don’t understand.
I don’t use big words or fancy words – why – because I don’t know any! Why? I don’t really know.
It could come down to my education. I did all of my schooling from Kindy to Year 12 in a small country town. I then did 3 years at TAFE studying Travel and Tourism. And after that I completed 2 years study for my Certificate in Management. I worked as a Travel Consultant and then a Team Leader for many years. And no I didn’t go to Uni.
I am not worldly or well travelled.
I do know the 3 letter codes for most cities in the words though – but I don’t know big or fancy words!! Go figure.
Even at school I wasn’t interested in writing. I haven’t grown up as a “writer”. I loved reading – but my books of choice were Sweet Valley High – hardly high on the literary scale and not that educating either.
My interest in writing hasn’t stemmed from great academia or literary knowledge growing up. And I’ve not be surrounded by people of this nature either. I’ve just lived basic, normal, ordinary life.
My interest in writing has stemmed from a thought that grew into a “what if”, that grew into a “how would I deal with this”; that lead to a story in my head that wouldn’t go away; that lead to me one day sitting down at my computer and smashing out a few thousand words to make a start.
This story has stuck in my head, playing on repeat for 2 years before I had the courage and encouragement to step outside my fear and self doubt and start working on it, seriously.
“To step into the arena” (as one of my favorite authors Brene Brown would say).
So now I am in the arena – AKA – class room. I’m putting myself out there. Telling and showing people that I’m not naturally gifted and talented at writing. That I don’t even know how to construct a paragraph or chapter and I often don’t know how to use punctuation correctly! I’m sharing my writing for all to see, and criticise and like or dislike.
Yes I still have fear. Fear of failing. Fear that no one will read my work. Fear that it will be shitty and crappy sent straight to the scrap heap. But through this fear, I have found courage. Courage to give it a go, lay it all on the line and bear my soul.
At the end of this workshop I was attending, I spent the next hour walking back to my house. Deep in thought and wading through my feeling and emotions, I really had to give myself the biggest talking to.
I know that this is me.
I know that I don’t need to change and pretend that I’m someone that I’m not.
I know I have a story to share.
I am worthy.