Thanks Melinda, for that fabulous introduction! And thank you Rayna, Melinda and Kathy for inviting me to blog along with you on Attacking The Page. I must admit I struggled with what I would post for my first blog until Kathy said, just be yourself and you’ll be fine. So here goes…
The other night, after karate class, I spoke to a fellow student who mentioned that when he performs a Kata, a series of karate moves, before the teachers in our dojo, he’s never frightened. Wow. Admiration for his self-assurance and poise raced through me. I told myself what I’ve found countless times to be true: practice makes perfect. The karate student I spoke to has been studying longer, so naturally, his skills are more advanced.
On my drive home, I considered how dedication and perseverance not only allow me to trust myself as a writer, but push myself in karate training. These qualities are what keep me going. But this was the clincher for me: assurance and poise are the qualities that have helped me find my true writing ‘voice’, and I never realized they’d been in my artillery all along. For me, it was an Oprah, ah ha moment. So I sat back and smiled, knowing that in time, assurance and poise will enter the dojo with me. Until then, I will continue to work hard, and remind myself that everyone learns at their own pace. My Sensei told me, if karate was easy, everyone would be taking class. How true. The same can be said for the publishing world. If writing a good book were an easy task, everyone would be published.
In 2004, I started my writing journey. After publishing a children’s non-fiction book, library sales dropped, so I turned to writing romance and I haven’t looked back. In 2011, I began studying Issinryu Karate, and one year later, I feel empowered and confident. I believe practice does make perfect, and although our journeys are diverse, and may spread over different spans of time, odds are, just like me, you have qualities you aren’t aware of, and your Oprah, ah ha moment, is waiting for you too if you trust in yourself and look deep inside.
Because I’m a vertically challenged woman, on a good day I’m five feet tall, I began karate as a means of self-defense so I would feel safe whenever and wherever life took me. It’s turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. One year ago, fear would have riddled me helpless if someone approached me in a dark venue with the intention of hurting me. Now, I’m tenacious and self-assured, and God help the man waiting for me in some dark, parking lot…because I guarantee he’ll be the one running for help, not me.