It feels like I’ve seen so much of it in my life.
My father is probably the biggest coward of them all. He has run from his responsibilities, the consequences of each and every choice he has made in his life – anything from gambling, cheating, abandoning his children – you name it, he has done it. He is incapable of being strong, unable to look anyone else in the eye and face them, too cowardly to look at himself and acknowledge how truly pathetic he actually is.
That’s ok though. He has not been in my life for decades now. That is his loss. It’s his loss that we have grown up to be well-educated, strong (sometimes overly-opinionated) women. My sister is a beautiful person, inside and out. She turns heads, draws people to her, but they stay around her because she is just a good human being overall. She cares and loves. She is sensitive and kind. She will always look after people and has a natural gift for making others feel special.
Each of these qualities she learned from The Warrior, not my father.
I saw something on Twitter today. Amongst all of the chaos, the total seeming tragedy that has become the country I am from, was this post from one of my favourite writers.
It’s a wonderful thing for KJ to do. It’s, at the very least, something, some kind of action amidst all of the despair and hopelessness.
But I am afraid. I qualify for this opportunity. I am mixed-Asian and I write romance… or at least I try to. I started my first manuscript over three and a half years ago now. It’s been horrendous at times and sometimes pretty good. My sister is the only person to have ever read this script that I can’t seem to finish at all. She is my biggest (and only) fan. She tries her best to encourage me to keep going. Sometimes because she is my sister and she knows how much joy I get out of writing but mostly because she wants to know what happens next (I rather cruelly left her hanging about 9 months ago on a cliffhanger). I have planned out the stories for the 5 or 6 books that follow it and have actually written a little more of the spin off book than this one.
It’s hard. What is holding me back is my own confidence. I am not confident in my self that I can do this. I am not confident that this book is good enough so I can’t send it to KJ. She is experienced and is offering her considerable wealth of knowledge to help someone who needs it. I need it. I should take her up on it and at least ask her if she might be willing to allow me to be one of the people who gets to take advantage of her generosity. I just can’t. I don’t want to hear that it’s awful. I don’t want to hear that it’s a piece of garbage and I should just leave it in the gutter where it belongs.
Of course, I don’t think KJ would ever be so harsh as to say that at all. I’m just afraid that my writing, my baby, that I have invested so much time, love and effort into, won’t be good enough for a professional to see any sort of potential in.
I am so terrified of rejection. I don’t blame it on my father. I don’t. But I think in some ways I know that I am just like him – preferring to run away than face up to what I’m afraid of. Afraid to grab an opportunity staring me right in the face because of the possibility that I might fail. I mostly only read m/m books but the one I am writing is an m/f. Someday I want to write an m/m though. I have two plans already mapped out for them and I am desperate to write them. But to get to those I have to finish what I have already started.
I never thought I would ever call myself a coward. I always face up to everything, except my writing (and parts of my sexuality). It’s the only thing I have that is mine, that I have built. Without it, I’m afraid I won’t have anything else to offer.
God help me.