In elementary school, my stories were selected for published compilations. In fifth grade, I won an award for a speech writing/delivery competition. (Looking back I wonder what the judges thought about the 11 year old me delivering a speech about whether man had the humility to learn from the horrific results of dropping an atomic bomb versus others "My Day at Disney with Dad" speeches. Also, I used the word "unprecedented". It is entirely possible that other kids hated me.)
In a slam book from that same year, for the "what do you want to be" question, I answered "a writer".
In middle school I always opted for the extra credit writing assignments when they were offered, even if I didn't need the credit.
And in my AP English Comp class, one that was hated by many due to the very particular grading system our teacher used, I found I enjoyed the challenge of the daily writing assignments, demanding that we be interesting as well as understand the use of alliteration, parataxis and asyndeton.
So why, in my thirty something years, am I not promoting my next novel, or proudly pointing out my latest book in the Barnes and Noble window?
I've been in love with writing for so long. It's been there for me through every up and down. When life is hard, my notebook and I find a quiet spot in a tree or a coffee shop and get lost in each other. We cry together, laugh together, we understand each other; all without judgement.
I'm afraid of the third party. I'm afraid to introduce someone new to this relationship. Someone who might tell me that we aren't right for each other. That I'm not good enough. That I should move on.
So, do I continue on as I have, just sharing the surface of my relationship with writing, in blogs and occasional freelance projects, but keep the rest to myself? Or do I take a chance and really put it all out there?
I think I know the answer. It's just a matter of actually allowing myself to act.