Pushing my comfort zone? Me? An introvert?
Let’s just say it doesn’t come naturally. But today I came across some writing that explains … well … why you and I should do that. Especially the you and I that are writing this month.
So, with Naomi’s kind permission, I’m going to share it here.
Suffice it to say it “spoke to me”. Not only because of the radio similarities or the introvert similarities, but also the fact that her third grade teacher had the same name as my ex-husbands late wife … also a third grade teacher. Different person. Different state.
The advice her Uncle gave her is priceless.
When I was young, my first grade teacher, Ms Mosely, traumatized me. I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say that by the end of that year, I didn’t want to go to school anymore because I was the kid who wet her pants. So over the summer, my uncle found a way to move me to a new school, even though it was outside our school district (this was before there was a such thing as open enrollment).
But, the problem was, they didn’t have enough room for a new second grader. They were over full. So a third grade teacher, Miss Holiday, offered to take me into her classroom. She said she would separate out my classwork from the rest of the class, would write my assignments on the board separately, etc.
I did not like this arrangement. Not even a little bit. Sure, it was nice of her to offer, but I didn’t want to be separated out. I wanted to be invisible. I wanted to fit in.
To this day, I hate spotlights. I hate public speaking. Yet, I worked in radio for years. I went to a trade school to be a sports’ broadcaster on television. I went to a college wherein a large percentage of our grades depended on group interaction and presentations; I went to graduate school to be a therapist. I became certified as a parenting instructor to give classes about parenting. I even got certified to teach other parenting teachers. I sing karaoke. I’ve joined groups like this and shake every time I make a post. But I make those posts anyway because I know those shakes are just the butterflies getting ready to watch me do something great.
And that is what my uncle told me the day that I told him I didn’t want to go to that school because I wouldn’t be comfortable. He said that the butterflies in your stomach only come to life when you’re outside your comfort zone, because that’s when you’re going to do something great, and they didn’t want to miss it. So I have lived my life almost 100% on the edge of my comfort zone. Coming in from time to time to recharge as needed (I am, after all, an introvert)
There really is no point to this post except I thought it might help some of you remember that you’re doing great work here. NaNoWriMo is tough, but not nearly as tough as we are on ourselves. So if you are uncomfortable because you aren’t sure about what you’re writing, or you’re unsure about critics, or you’re uncomfortable with your story. You’re in good company. Because those butterflies are going to watch you do something great.
They’re going to watch you finish that novel.