September 25 2009

Music

I was asked a question on my blog yesterday by Jessica Nelson of Booking It. She wondered how similar the process of becoming a singer is to becoming a writer. Interestingly enough, it is very similar.

I was four years old when I stood on the big round stool with a hair brush in my hand. I was belting out an Amy Grant tune (whom I called Sandy Patty at the time, everyone was Sandy Patty when I was four.) and I knew at that moment what I wanted to be when I grew up!

Don’t get me wrong, by the time I learned how to read and write my dream altered a bit. Well not so much altered as it grew much larger. I now wanted to be a singer/song writer. Then as I got older I wanted to be a singer/song writer who also wrote novels. I dream big!

My parents highly encouraged my singing. I was in choir since I was 8 and by the time I was 12 I was taking voice lessons. I sang at my 8th grade graduation in front of an entire Church of my peers and I loved every minute of it. Although singing was easy, it took work. The thing is, it never seemed like work…ever.

In high school I sang in two, sometimes three different choirs at a time, but this was the point where singing became intimidating. There were other singers my age who could sing just as well, if not better than I could. Slowly I let this intimidation bring me down. My voice would get shaky during my solos and I would almost have to close my eyes so I didn’t see the crowd.

What happened to the little 13 year old girl who got a high from singing in front of a big Church full of my friends, family and tons of people I didn’t know?

It was the competition.

I never quit though. I kept taking voice lessons, I joined every choir available. My senior year in high school I even talked the schools into letting me go over to our rival school for choir because they had an award winning choir director and my school, well lets just say we weren’t even invited to win any awards. I sang at my high school graduation and loved every minute of it, but I was still not full of the confidence I could have possessed.

After senior year life got in the way. I had babies, got married, and had a life full of drama. I was in choir here and there and still am, but I wasn’t pursuing my dream as strongly as I had before.

Then … American Idol came around. Every singers dream … and I chickened out. I had it all planned. I had the time off work, a friend who agreed to drive, and a husband who fully supported it … and I chickened out. Too much competition. Instead I settled for a job as a local Karaoke DJ and joined another choir.

I’m still in choir. Every where I go I insist on joining the choir, but I lack the confidence to take it any further.

So how is this like writing? Well put in writing for every part I said singing. We write because our hearts are in it. We have the talent, and it’s obvious. But we need the confidence to keep going. If we lack confidence we’ll never make it to the top. We’ll never get our books published and we’ll never fulfill our wildest dreams.

When I picked up writing again last year I vowed to myself that I would not give up. I would push and push and work as hard as I can. I know I am a good writer. I just need to believe it at all times. If someone asks me what my book is about I should be able to stand up with confidence and tell them all about it.

Do you have the confidence of a professional writer? If not, start … today. Don’t let your dreams slip away because you think you “might” not be good enough. You ARE good enough and deep down you know it.

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