It feels a little strange to be posting again just one day after the craziness of the A - Z in April Challenge, but I didn't want to miss our monthly meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted as always by Alex J. Cavanaugh.
Unsurprisingly, the A to Z was still on my mind when I was thinking about topics for this month's meeting, and I couldn't help but think back to the first time I completed the challenge back in 2011. I stumbled upon the sign-up list, which was then hosted on Arlee Bird's Tossing It Out site, by pure chance.
To get to how this relates to insecurity, I'm just going to share what I wrote back in May, 2011 for my A to Z reflections post:
"I'm not creative enough for that."
"I'll never be able to think of a post for every letter."
Those were the thoughts that ran through my head when I first came upon the A-Z Challenge back in March. I was browsing through writing blogs and stumbled upon a link to Tossing It Out and the Challenge. I read about it, thought the above, and clicked off the page.
The next day I decided to go back, and signed up on a whim. Although I didn't intend for this to be the case, the Challenge ended up fitting in to the overall theme of my blog. When I read about it, my first thought was the usual for me. Impossible. But then I remembered that the whole point of my blog was to try things I had previously considered impossible.
So I tried it and, as it turned out, completing the Challenge was not just possible, it was a blast.
Now two years and three challenges later, I know my life is better because I decided to ignore my inner critic, who always says "I can't," and sign up for that first challenge. I sincerely doubt I would still be blogging today if I hadn't, and I can't say enough how much being part of this community has enriched my life.
"I can't" is still my default response to most things, but I've slowly learned to try saying "I can" instead. I hope if your own insecurities love to tell you that you can't, you'll be able to ignore them and remember that you can.
To illustrate this point, I want to share this great quote I found on one of the Pinterest boards for the Half the Sky movement, which works to empower women around the world.
I hope we can all do this whenever we are confronted by our can'ts. :)
I'm not going to be doing much blogging in May as I'm focusing on getting back to writing and editing, but Polar Night is going out into the blogosphere in my place. I'm really excited to be participating in my first Book Blast through Pump Up Your Book. Click here to find out where Polar Night will be hanging out next week.
Finally, I learned about the Blogger Book Fair a few months ago and am looking forward to participating in the fair in July. This summer's fair will be the third one, and I'm excited about joining in. The fair is designed to showcase authors and their books and is all about free promotion. So it seems to me that there is nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking part.
The sign-ups are open now and will remain open until June 15, 2013. Click here for the sign-up form, and here to learn more about the fair itself.
I'm wishing you all a very happy and, to those who participated in the A - Z, restful May. :)