I started my writing life, many years ago, writing song lyrics. To be honest, most of the earliest ones were pretty naff, although they did improve as I learned my craft. But since I don’t write music and I didn’t know anyone who did, I soon left lyric writing behind to concentrate on scripts and novels.
Fast forward a few years. Several plays and pantomimes have been published, and I just completed my third Regency Romance. Everything was going well.
So, of course, life threw a spanner into the works, in the form of a major health scare which led to a hysterectomy.
The scare is over, thank the Lord. But for a time it really affected me in a number of ways, one of which was in my writing. For a couple of months, I just could not write something long and demanding. Yet, not writing made me depressed and left me feeling useless. So I started writing lyrics again.
They did the trick. In a very short time, I found myself ready to move on to the bigger projects, picking up where I had left off before my op. I also had over a dozen songs.
Now, I don’t have a lot of confidence in my song writing abilities, but I didn’t want to waste the effort that had gone into them either, so I asked a few writing friends to critique them for me, and tell me how they could be improved. The feedback was very positive. Very, VERY positive. It was followed by glowing comments from a musician. (Player of music, that is, not writer of it, more’s the pity.)
Someone suggested I should enter a couple of the songs into the International Songwriting Competition, and a chorus of agreement went up from all those who’d seen the songs. But… I held off. My confidence just wasn’t up to the job. What if I entered and they were rubbish? What if the real songwriters found out I was a phony? What if…? What if…? What if…?
I could work on my skills. There’d be another contest next year.
Then, today, I was listening to music and the song “What are you waiting for?” by Nickelback was played. As I sang along to it (sorry, anyone who was in earshot,) the words hit me. “Everybody needs a leap of faith,” they sang, “when are you taking yours?” And I realised the answer had to be… now.
I’ve entered the competition. I probably won’t win. But I have done it. I’ve finally had the confidence to try. And when all is said and done, that’s what really matters.