Now there is a word no writer worth their salt would ever admit to. We are brash, brazen and bold. We ache to throw ourselves and our work to the wolves and expect whole-heartedly to walk away unscathed. We laugh at rejection. We get an idea and we sit down and write it. No qualms about it. No doubt. We know this will be our best work ever.
Or that is what we tell our fans, our interviewers, and our friends.
The truth is...writers are scaredy cats. We quiver at the thought of people not liking our work and, by association, us. We worry that our friends and family will mock us when we fall on our faces...and we will. How can we not? We are all hacks. We suck. No one could possibly love the trash flowing through our fingers onto the keyboard and into the white space that is Microsoft Word.
The good news is that because we are such creative beings, we all have superhero egos to rely on. Every time we find ourselves paralized with fear, we mentally throw on our capes, pull up our big kid undies and throw our thick skins out into the harsh world.
Dakota Rebel is my alter-ego. I have a real life name, and it is a good one. Nice and Irish, like me. But I, just little old me, is terrified of being rejected. I am terrified of showing off my work, bragging about myself, and all of the other things writers have to do everyday. And so, enter Dakota Rebel.
Dakota is not afraid of anything. She is a self-promotion machine. She writes all the time, she submits, she takes rejection in stride, and she laughs in the face of fear. (While she is doing all of this I am huddled in the corner shaking and rocking, wrapped in my own arms.) I believe that this is the real reason I chose a pen name for myself. I can blame her when things go wrong, but if they go right...well it is me after all.
I decided to write this post because I had an idea for a book. It is a huge idea. And idea of such mammoth proportions that even Dakota had a moment of hesitation. It is outside of my comfort zone. But after that split second of trepidation, Dakota squared her shoulders and dug in. There is no such thing as "outside" her comfort zone. She is comfortable wherever she is. She can take any idea and make it work. She thanked me for the idea and started writing. As if she had been waiting to write this story since I invoked her. Dakota is a dynamo.
Fear? Who said anything about fear?