“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
– Christopher Robin to Winnie The Pooh
As I kid, I loved the tales of a potbellied bear and his posse that included a tiny pig, a grumpy donkey and a boy who adored him. His innocence made me smile, and I could definitely relate to his insatiable sweet tooth (honey for him, anything chocolate for me).
But as an adult, I realize that the stories aren’t just cute, they are full of wisdom and comfort…two things I could certainly use right now.
Which is why I’m writing this today.
I’m staring at a finished novel that I’m terrified to send out to my beta readers because I may find out that I spent six years writing a piece of sh*t.
So, I don’t feel brave.
People close to me are hurting because of circumstances that I can’t fix. One is in prison, both physically and spiritually. Another is battling chronic pain and flirting with an opiate addiction. Someone else is shouldering a family loss so huge they may never be made whole again.
So, I don’t feel strong.
I still can’t get my damn blue tooth device to talk to my phone.
So, smart isn’t in the cards today, either.
But the good news is, I don’t have to let my momentary feelings determine the rest of my life.
Because as much of a gift as they can be, sometimes our emotions just get it all wrong.
As the fear and doubt start to pile on, we feel them so strongly that we forget what we know to be true about ourselves in saner moments.
I will send my book to the readers and get it published, regardless of whether I feel like J.K. Rowling.
I will pray for those I love and do whatever is humanly possible to help them, even if it isn’t nearly enough.
I will throw myself on the mercy of the Verizon store gurus and get over my temporary techno-conundrum.
I will listen to the words of a boy who loved his bear, take them into my heart, and share them with anyone who may need them.
Maybe that’s you right now.
If so, I’m here to remind both of us to honor our feelings, but don’t treat them as infallible. Gently question their validity if they try to lead you away from the truth about yourself. And that is…
You are brave.
Badass. (especially Badass)
To a fault.
The person who wrote this could never write a book that was a piece of – . The sensitivity that makes you a good writer, unfortunately serves double duty by making other people’s pain so much more intense for you. But it also makes you stronger. Good luck with the book. Good luck with the journey.
Thank you so much for the very kind words, Howard…they are truly appreciated. 🙂 I wish you luck on your journey, too! You’re an awesome writer, and I love your blog (the “Bobby and Thom” stories are my faves!).
Oooh do I know what you are suffering through.
Putting a novel you have written out there before the public….and cringing, looking for thumbs up, worried all the thumbs will be down.
You are a wonderful writer MH. Told you that before. Who knows if your book will be a best seller? We novelists always believe deep down inside ours will be…though on the outside, we say…”Eh. I had fun writing my book, and talking with the characters.”
I hope you started another. Maybe the same characters will help. Or new characters will be standing in line, pushing and shoving, wanting you to record what they are saying.
Dick, thank you for feeling my pain…LOL! 😉 But you’ve so bravely put your novels out into the world, and it’s high time that I do the same. You are always a huge inspiration to me! 🙂
Thanks, Curt! xo! 🙂
Oh, wow — I have found a fellow traveler! Thank you for being brave enough to write this!
I’m so happy this resonated with you, Bethany! 🙂 And I am always happy to meet a “fellow traveler” on this crazy journey of life and writing. I just checked out your site…you really did a fabulous job with it!