In the mood for irony? On these pages, I write and I write. I even write about writing. But in the real world, I am so afraid to call myself a writer. It makes me feel as though I’m playing dress-up with my mother’s clothes and I’ve got the lipstick all smeared out past the edges of my lips. I’ve got a frock on but it doesn’t fit and looks rather queer, hanging in frumpy layers past my knees.
About a year ago (good god, it’s already been a year, shame on me) a friend of mine and I made a pact that we would call ourselves by what we truly were: artists. She, a dancer. Me, a writer. We made a deal with each other that we would have the courage to speak our hearts about ourselves. But here we are a year later, and I am still afraid.
When I left for our cruise a couple of weeks ago, I reminded myself of this promise. I said to myself, “When I meet people, I will tell them I am a writer. No excuses. For what do I have to lose? I will never see them after I get off the boat.”
One person asked me what I do. Just one, and still I faltered. I said I was a writer, but when she asked me what I write, I stumbled. I talked about my passion as if it were driftwood, a piece of boring slate grey dead limb pieces. And the conversation stopped. Talk about it that way, why would she be interested? I’d go numb too.
And as I heard the stupid words tumble from my mouth, I felt ashamed. Like I’d been caught with the silly frock and smeared red lipstick. I saw disappointment in her eyes, but I think it was just a mirror of my own.
I know the only thing that keeps me from fitting in the frock as if I belong and wearing that lipstick with grace is courage. In my head I know this. But then my heart whispers: sometimes people say they like my words, but would they really buy them? So I don’t tug too hard on the lace-lined dress, for I think it might unravel in my hands.
This week’s challenge: Metaphors and similes. Let’s play around with making up our own metaphors and similes. Create your own metaphor or simile, then write something using it. Link it up in the comments section below and please do stop and visit others’ entries to spread a little love.
Next week’s challenge: I don’t know about you, but I’m addicted to adjectives and adverbs. But I hear writing can be strengthened and made more precise without qualifying words. So this week’s challenge is to trim the fat. Write anything you like. Then go back and eliminate all the adverbs (if you’re extra daring, you can try adjectives too…using color is okay though). Erase anything that ends in -ly. Then rewrite those parts/phrases to mean what you meant, without using the adverb.