I used to say I wanted to be a writer when I was a kid. Out loud.
I even brought my stories to school for my fourth grade teacher to critique. I proudly wore, then displayed the button she gave me. I still have it.
My kid badge of courage.
Sometime after high school, that courage deflated a bit. I still wrote, but I filed it all away in a large Rubbermaid container.
Part of it was a lack of direction. Part of it was fear.
Because it takes courage to put yourself out there–whether you are making new friends, trying something new, or setting goals toward your dreams. Maybe you hesitate, fill in all the unknown factors with worry, or maybe you paralyze yourself with fear, imagining your hopes floating unattached, like the fluffy bits from a dandelion.
What happens when you put it all out there?
Sure, there are scary things, like rejection.
But, you also leave room for opportunity.
This past week I got the chance to be a literary judge for a local elementary school’s PTA Reflections program. They were looking for a writer. My dandelion bits made their rounds (thank you Andrea!), and they asked me.
I don’t think it had anything to do with my once upon a time literary connections.
Hobnobbing with Babar in the 80s.
The opportunity presented itself because I put myself out there.
It’s not always easy to be open, but YAY for new opportunities!
But wait–what does a children’s literary judge wear?
Something classic, maybe Suess-ian or Potter-esque?
Or, perhaps someone more inspired, more representative of Life and the Great Quest . . .
I found Waldo. In my own backyard.
Then I settled down to read the reflections of future artists. The theme this year is Magic of a Moment.
Reading the stories and poems reminded me how much courage abounds in the young.
So, of course, I carefully swept the “magic of a moment” essence off those papers with my unicorn tail hair brush. That sort of pixie dust is akin to the Fountain of Youth.
So if you’re looking to reclaim some of that gutsy kid attitude, I’ve left some on a dandelion in the Jungle of Nool.
Waldo will lead the way.
What are you mustering courage for this week? Are you more of a TRUTH, or DARE person? If you could dress up as any literary character, who would you be?
Let me know in the comments!