Monday, 21 July 2008
No, THIS is my favourite.
Since my blog is a continuing stream of consciousness, this is what my consciousness is streaming today. I have discovered, much to my dismay, that I am a coward. I am not happy about this, an understatement, as I have always prided myself on my courage. My daughter is not the first person to accuse me of having a ‘rescue complex’, and it is true. In almost any given situation from earthquakes, to a man hitting a woman, to shots fired, I automatically assume I’m the only one there capable of handling the trouble. Yes, you’re right – I don’t play well with others. It’s really never been a problem, at least not for me, because every task I have attempted up until now I was well trained for and felt quite capable of executing.
What brought on this torrent of self-examination? I took a creative writing course last year from one of the American Universities. It was splendid, I learned a lot. A few weeks, all right a month, ago my instructor emailed me to see if I had continued with the novel I began in her class – I have but it’s on the back burner until I do further research, that’s why I am writing “Valley of the Kasbahs” – write what you know. Back to the act of cowardice – this lovely woman wanted to read what I had, and “any other writing” I had been doing. To say I was flattered would be another understatement, but have I sent her anything? That would be NO. I have found every excuse you could imagine – the wedding, the trip home, the rewrite, and on to blithering nonsense. I finally confronted myself last week and wrote said Professor and confessed, but did I send her the manuscript? That would be NO. I managed to find one more excuse.
I know why now, it’s because I’m terrified I’m not good enough. Understand I am one of the very fortunate people, and I know it, to have been excellent at everything I have turned my hand to in my life. I like that. Q says I ‘m competitive, a label I denied for years, but she may have something… I find it amusing that I am the first one in line to give encouragement to anyone who wishes to try something new. I also have an embarrassing amount of self-esteem, so what is the problem? Cowardice. Damn. But the definition of courage is to be afraid and do it anyway. I am sending the manuscript off today.