I’ve written my whole life. Instead of doodling during math, I wrote phrases and played with combinations of words. I started writing novels ten yeas ago when my son was one. We were so broke that, at times, I had to choose between feeding myself or my son. He won and I shrunk to 100 pounds. Cable was disconnected and all we owned an ancient, hand-me-down computer that had word processing. While my son slept, and my then-husband ran about town, I returned to writing.
Yes, I have been writing for ten yeas. What have I published? Nothing. I know that look. I know the questions. No reason to say it out loud. I have my own inner bully that points out the facts.
You haven’t been published yet, so you mustn’t be very good. Why don’t you just give up? Leave it to the professionals who are good enough to publish.
Yup! I know the thoughts. Nothing new.
Truth is…I like my inner critic. He used to bother me with his nagging and negativity while he hovered over my shoulder. Sometimes, he made me furious. Sometimes, he won. I gave up for a year. Every time I glanced at my keyboard, he reminded me that I had quit. So, I’d go back to the business of living in the real world.
When I returned, he stood behind me and stroked his chin. I held my head high and tried not to look at him for fear of losing my resolve. When I did look back, ready to say, “See!”, I saw something I didn’t expect. I saw him smile.
That was when I made peace with him, my inner bully. And named him Cliff. Cliff Huxtable. He even has goofy sweaters. Sometimes, we have serious heart-to-heart talks. Sometimes, we dork dance down the stairs. Those are my favorite times, when I let go of all concern and just have fun.
I dedicate this post to my very own Cliff Huxtable. And now, time to dance…