Friday, August 25, 2017

Strong Women are my Spirit Animal

Since I was a kid, I’ve been a fan of ladies who operate from a ‘kick ass and have no fear’ mentality. Women who aren’t afraid to take risks to get what they want, need. Sometimes that meant the woman was an activist, sometimes it meant she risked her reputation, other times her life.

Those were the women I looked up to. Those women didn’t take no for an answer, didn’t let anything stop them from going after their true calling. They were, and are, about as bad-ass as I could imagine and take a lot of shit because of their spirit. But who says bad-ass is a bad thing?

Because, how does that quote go again? Oh yeah…

“Well-behaved women seldom make history.” 
– Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.

And really, who wants to be ‘well-behaved’ anyway?

Some of my earliest interest in how much a woman can do came from women who threw caution to the wind. Dove head first into their feisty soul and made zero apologies.

Joan of Arc, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Madonna, Emily Dickinson.

And, me? I’m here living a simple life, far outside the realm of extremes that my heroines faced in their lives and careers. I’m just a girl publishing some books in a time when girls are allowed to publish books, work for themselves. Because that’s my soul. My calling.

Every time I take on a new challenge and complete it, face a fear and conquer it, I hope to inch one step closer to bad-ass. In my own way.

I feel like I’ve come a long way from the girl who scribbled, incessantly, in a journal, never releasing a single word to the world. The girl who feared and let it stop her from taking work-life by the balls.

As of a few years ago I would shake at the thought of standing up in front of the women’s writers group I belong to and giving just a 30 second introduction. I was so afraid of public speaking, in fact, that it took me well over six months before I forced myself to stand up and talk at all.

Now I take the mic every time I'm there and have some interesting tid-bit of my writing life to share.

Am I still nervous? Hell yes. I always feel like a socially and professionally awkward mess because even when I prepare the words seem to vanish as soon as I rise. But I do it anyway because fear is just an emotion.

Then there was last week. My career took a new and exciting turn as I was interviewed for a podcast for the first time.

Radio. My voice. Many, many people potentially listening to what I had to say.

And I didn’t get advance copies of the questions.


But I sent her some items I definitely wanted to talk about and she worked off my author bio and books as a basis for her questions. Not only that but Pat was a master interviewer. Smooth, no awkward pausing, follow up comments, excellent questions.

It was like the half hour ended in a minute. At the end of it, I tried to remember everything I’d said. Because, you know I over-analyze. But as my mind went over my responses I had something happen that rarely happens to me.

I felt good about the interview.

Maybe it was running on pure adrenaline, perhaps it was my desire to lead my work into the consciousness of a larger market (finally), or a combination of both but I felt like I got all the points across and not in my usual Boston speed-speak.

It just felt, right.

When Pat sent me the link, not gonna lie, I waited a few days before I had the courage to listen. Matt said he wanted to check it out. Family had encouraged me beforehand. I knew they wanted to hear it too.

Still, I considered not sharing it at all.

But then I thought back to five years ago. Five years ago I was in the midst of putting finishing touches on Reckless Abandon. Five years ago I’d already self-published my first title and was getting ready to release my second.

I didn’t let my inner critic stop me that time.

So I wouldn’t let it stop me this time either.

I clicked on that link and, as I listened to myself, the same feeling I had after recording washed over me. It wasn’t rambling. It wasn’t incoherent. I actually sounded okay.

Again, though, questions arise. Did doing this podcast cure me of the fear of my recorded voice? No. Did it cure me of nerves? Hell no. But will I do something like this again?

Hells to the yes.

Just like those first two books I wrote so many years ago, this interview isn’t perfect but that doesn’t matter. It was fun, challenging, and super cool I got to talk about my work so a bunch of total strangers might discover a book they just have to read.

Liberating and scary all rolled into one 33:07 segment.

So, it’s true I’m not helping to free slaves, taking a stand against discrimination, setting new standards for females embracing their own sexuality, but to me, advancing my career in this way still feels pretty bad-ass.

If you’d like to listen, turn on your speakers and click:

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In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.

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