In a parallel universe I could be a bestseller…

Today is the first Wednesday of the month, when the

IWSG Badge…founded by Alex J Cavanaugh, blog about their hopes, dreams and fears. If you want to join this merry band of writers Click here to add your name to the list…
The awesome co-hosts for this month are; M. Pax, Tracy Jo, Patricia Lynne, Rachna Chhabria, Feather Stone, and Randi Lee.

I went to the Hay Festival last week, which was just amazing. I came away with this zen-like sense of calm, which I guess is an indication of just how up my street it was.
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But I’m not here to irritate you by banging on about how marvellous it was.
I want to discuss a recurring theme I noticed when listening to various people speak.

Jacqueline Wilson mentioned the English teacher who peppered her work with comments in red pen about her casual use of language and slang. And the illustrator, Nick Butterworth told of how his school jotter would be covered in drawings and his teacher would ask where his work was.

Now I appreciate that part of a teacher’s role is to prepare us for the outside world, so they were only doing what, to them, was the right thing. Fortunately Jacqueline and Nick persevered with their chosen careers regardless of these early setbacks.

But, considering the fragile egos of many writers I guess there are quite a few that didn’t. Who took it as a sign that they weren’t good enough.

I know I was one of those, and spent a lot of years with my creative side tucked away while I concentrated on a sensible career path.

What point am I trying to make?
Well, I guess that you need to believe in yourself. Don’t wait for other people to tell you how wonderful you are because you’ll be waiting a long time.
If there’s something you want to do it’s down to you to get on with it. You may fail… or you may not.
You’ll never know unless you try.

(But perhaps in a parallel universe there’s a me who kept writing all the time. And maybe she’s had the chance to stand on that stage at Hay and talk to people about it… or maybe she’s just pushing a broom across it…)

How about you? Were your teachers supportive of your talents or oblivious to them?

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11 Responses to In a parallel universe I could be a bestseller…

  1. Hi Angela, I agree with you that if we were to wait for other people to tell us how wonderful we are, we would be waiting for ever. We must believe in ourselves, our writing and our stories.

    Rachna Chhabria
    Co-host IWSG
    Rachna’s Scriptorium

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  2. Nope, nobody saw my creative side, mostly because I kept it hidden. My fault. But then, I had to deal with bigger issues and develop a tougher hide. After many years, and life lessons, I did get the courage to reveal the real me. I’m happy that I waited. I would have never survived the world of marketing and harsh reviews that filtered in with great reviews. And I now have many years of life experiences to apply to my characters and plot dynamics. It’s all good.
    Wishing you great success, Angela.

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  3. M.R.R. says:

    Encouragement from others is a great thing, but it can’t be the sole motivator.

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  4. Juneta says:

    I am selective about sharing my writing. People think if you haven’t written a blockbuster or cranking them out at least twice a year you are not writer, or you are wasting your time. So I guess I keep it to myself most of the time, because part me believes even though my logic tells its BS. I am working on this. It is only in my later years that I have really came out of the closet so to speak about my writing. Great post.
    Juneat @ Writer’s Gambit

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    • Angela says:

      Thanks Juneta, hang in there – I’ve read some of your stuff, it’s damn good 🙂 Keep it up!

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      • Juneta says:

        Ah, the way you worded that made me feel so good, thank you. Just had to tell you that. Happy Writing To You!

        PS I do know how to spell my name, I just can’t type, lol. Wow, what an error not to catch. @@

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      • Angela says:

        whoops! missed that! so much for my proofreading skills!

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  5. I didn’t get into writing until I was out of school for a few years, so I never had any teachers to encourage or discourage me.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

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  6. Angela says:

    Thanks everyone for your comments, it’s great to get your points of view

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  7. Sharon Marie Himsl says:

    Yes indeed. One teacher’ s encouragement meant the world to me but at some point you must step out onto the stage and not be afraid to bare your writer soul. It’s what I’m attempting to do with a novel. Oh the excuses I
    come up with not to!

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