And yet, I haven’t sent it to anyone.
Why? I just don’t want you to read it.
Whaaaaaat??? Aren’t I a teacher who reads everyone else’s stuff? Aren’t I a coach who helps people create and write their own stories?
Yes. And hey, I’ve written lots of things you can read right now: All my blogs. A 100+ page master’s thesis. A 300+ page dissertation. Articles on pedagogy, academic essays, a neat portfolio of nonfiction stories, a bunch of bluegrassy songs.
But here’s the thing: My novel is different. It’s a romantic comedy. It’s inspired by my years in San Francisco. And… well…
I LOVE it. Like, as much as I love Daryl from The Walking Dead.
So why am I afraid of sharing it?
- Because it’s fiction… but it’s so real.
- Because none of it is true… but it is so true.
- Because it’s like taking my clothes off… and I like layers.
But don’t worry. You don’t have to coddle me and feed me applesauce. I will figure this out.
This week in class, I asked my students how they spent their weekends. They all love watching sports. I joked with them and said:
“I think it’s great that you are spectators of sports. But also remember to get in the arena. It’s easy to be a spectator and criticize from your couch or the stands. Make sure you get on the field too. Get in the arena of your own life.”
Brene Brown inspired my little suggestion. Here’s a similar quote from her book Daring Greatly:“When we spend our lives waiting until we’re perfect or bulletproof before we walk into the arena, we ultimately sacrifice relationships and opportunities that may not be recoverable, we squander our precious time, and we turn our backs on our gifts, those unique contributions that only we can make.”
I don’t want to squander any more time. So, I’m sending my book out to a few people who I know love me and don’t really care what I look like naked.
How do I feel about that? Kind of pukey. But the signs say go.
Dude… I could even have a fan.
Better yet, I can be my own biggest fan, now and always.
So, alright, playas, I’m still scared but I’m taking another step. It’s time to let you read my book. It’s time to stop waiting to be bulletproof. It’s time to step off the stands and walk onto the field.
And, it’s time to ask you: Where are you at? Are you in the cheap seats of your own life? If so…
See you in the arena?