Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Are You Shy?

Laurie, a friend of mine, blogged about being shy. Her post hit home with me, brought back so many memories--not all of them pleasant. I was shy too, painfully shy, and still am to a certain degree. I imagine a lot of writers wrestle with shyness and that's why we turn to writing. Our safe world. I'd certainly rather stare at a blank page than an unfriendly, judgmental face. There are lots of them out there.

I believe shyness comes from insecurity. I despise it when both traits rear their ugly heads. Here's what I do to fight them:

1) I joined Toastmasters and take part in their speaking assignments. If I ever have a heart attack it'll probably be during a Toastmaster speech. :) Mmmm, mall walking might get me first.

2) I volunteer to speak in writer's groups. Fun. I love writing and talking about it so I get lost in my topic. Lord knows if I make sense!

3) I join critique groups even though they feed my insecurity. I haven't learned how to combat this problem yet. A real battle. :(

4) I force myself to go to writer's conferences and speak with editors and agents. I love the seminars because I'm a perpetual student. I'd still be in college if I could afford it. :) I despise pitching my work to editors and agents. Can't begin to tell you how much.

5) I force myself to walk out my door each day and join the world when I'd rather stay home and be with my family.

But, thankfully, God gives us courage through His Word.

I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from my fears. Psalm 34:4

He's our rock and refuge so we need to call on Him before we ever get out of bed in the mornings. Sometimes I say, "Praise God, He's given me another day!"

God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

He's great at calming racing hearts. Really! Is that spirit of timidity our own creation?

I rise early, before the sun is up; I cry out for help and put my hope in your words. Psalm 119:147

His word should be our confidence. Sometimes I forget and trek off on my own. I feel sad when I realize I've abandoned God. Hallelujah, He never abandons me.
So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? Hebrews 13:6

Commit it to memory. We will not be afraid or intimidated or shy... we are in the Lord and He is in us. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. He is in us.


LKHarris-Kolp said...

This is so beautifully written! I can relate to the smiling thing. I feel comfortable knowing God gives me strength. All I have to do is ask Him. So when I am in an uncomfortable situation, I say a little prayer. It always works.


Erica Vetsch said...

Your Number 4 resonated with me. I guess part of my problem is that I've lived 'inside my head' for so long, dreaming up stories, living life through characters, that it almost feels like a betrayal to open that world up for discussion. Putting them down on paper is hard enough, but chatting about them with someone else scares me!

Debra Harris-Johnson said...

Jess you always inspire me. Please sell this to some magazine. It is such words of total encouragement for people living in a world in which fear and anxiety sometimes have taken the place of scripture and faith.

The Voice said...

I have been thinking on this post for a long time. Read and reread. Number five is definitely me. I don't believe I am shy, more like intimidated. I'm like a character in a book. Nothing is real. I always worry (since childhood)if I have my face on. I have to wonder if I have full brows, two brows, one brow or no brow because anything can wipe them off. I have to wonder if I have my head on straight and does it look natural and soon I will be able to hold my teeth in my hand. I am so glad I'm an adult because kids were cruel in my youth which is what forms us as adults. I can talk a mile a minute and the hands off of the clock. If I never think of Nancy.

jess said...

Nancy said: I can talk a mile a minute and the hands off of the clock. If I never think of Nancy.

If I had your experiences and your analytical brilliance in forming thoughts, I'd be whipping out articles and books coming and going.
Are you writing every day? You need to set some goals, some specific articles to write or whatever. Write those goals down, tape them to a mirror, your wall, your computer and do something to achieve them on a DAIly basis. Sometimes I wonder if you think and analyze too much, but you come up with wonderful stuff that should be on the pages of a magazine or book.

Honestly, Nancy. I want you writing daily. Set one goal and work toward it. Then once you mark it off the list, set another then another.

Write down your dreams then move toward them one step at a time. You're a good writer. You have insight, emotion.

The Voice said...

Funny, but not in the ha ha.
I think faster than I can write and it takes my fingers time to catch up. so I loose some. I am trying to write more. I had quit, but the blog reminded me of the joy. I have even gotten back into drawing. Something was holding me in a tunnel???
Anyway, I may have an opportunity to write for this magazine and I will have to sell ads for them. I'm looking for things constantly.
You are such a great 'pusher'. Thanks.
Your will raise quite a few more bloggers from your speaking engagement.
Have fun