Stretch Your Wings

When an editor asks me if I can do something, I always say YES and then sit down to figure it out.  When someone asks me to speak at a conference, I agree and suffer through the anxiety that precedes saying “thank you” to the audience and falling into my seat.  So when our church choir master asked me to sit with the altos, I nodded knowing that the next symptoms would be numbness and sweating.  I sat through church last Sunday in a state of anxiety, wondering if I could do this without throwing up.  I even whined to him about it afterwards.  “No problem, I’ll get you a bucket.” 

That’s pretty much what I expected from him.  He’s a performer so he’s got at least a passing familiarity with stage fright.  It wasn’t enough to get me off the hook and I knew that when I whined to him.  I needed someone who would pat me on the back and then give me a shove.  A kind shove.  A well meaning shove.  But a nice sturdy one.

Don’t be afraid to push yourself through some uncomfortable territory.   It will help you grow in your work.  Just be sure to have a writing buddy somewhere nearby.  A buddy who will pat you on the shoulder when you freak out but will still give you the push you need to stretch your wings.  It’s the only way to soar.


PS.  A special thanks to the Ladies of the Gordian Knot and my Florissant critique group, both of who nudge me along in my writing as well as Dan, Felicia, Lynn and Tracy, who push me along in other aspects of my life.