Alternately titled “Not channeling my inner Cher Horowitz…”
A few days ago I read a post from one of my favorite authors on Facebook. Every day she posts these letters from the universe and from time to time one contains a little message that pierces my heart like a grappling hook. The end of it contained this refrain she later tweeted…
Act as if. Act as if. Act as if.
— Bernice L. McFadden (@queenazsa) May 21, 2015
I cribbed the name of my domain from a leaked version of a song from my favorite pop star. The entire lyric goes “fearless/cape in hand/ conquered what I need to/ to mend…” First time I heard it, it spoke to me. I was going through a rather tumultuous period in my life and needed resounding confirmation that I could handle anything life chose to throw at me. [sacrilege redacted] Because I’m hard headed (and stubborn, while making plenty of mistakes), I don’t always remember lessons previously learned. I needed to concentrate on the here and now instead of dwelling on shit of yore.
I was talking to a friend the other day about writing (hi Sarah!). In our conversation, I quoted the embedded tweet from above. We often have these conversations about our writing aspirations and fears that derail us from achieving them. We lament over word counts. Wring our hands over blocks. Consistently wonder if our words are good enough while seeing less poignant ones be paraded among the masses; praised as if they were manna from heaven.
I can’t speak for my friend, but it’s so hard when you see someone doing what you do, but know in your heart you could do it better. It’s even harder when you know it’s your own scaredy cat self holding you back. It’s not that I doubt my ability. It’s the debilitating fear that perhaps it’s my leonine sense of arrogance obscuring the truth. Perhaps the words that I’ve taken such care to curate aren’t good enough…or even good.
Competition is good, right? It’s been said that competitive forces cause us to do our best. How are we ever to get better if there isn’t always someone who’s one step ahead, driving you to catch up, and eventually surpass? I used to approach competition as a feral cat. Nothing could stop me from clawing my way to the top.
(I cringe at all of these feline references.)
Now I’m like…meh, am I even in the game? These word docs of unfinished flights of fancy and narrative non-fic chillin’ on Macy Grey (yes, I named my MacBook) mean nothing if they aren’t being shared. But are they even worthy of being shared? Or was my writing group just being nice? Because we’re friends and that’s what friends do.
The constantly niggling self-doubt letting fear bloom and flourish.
Whole damn URL a lie.
More like cape in closet, buried under some clothes and last season’s winter coat.