An Old Past-Time and a Wayside Dream

This post relates to the Reverb10 prompt that was given a couple of days ago (What did you not do in 2010 That you would like to do in 2011?) At the time I couldn’t think of anything to write about; and since I feel that I have nothing to say in regards to today’s prompt, I suppose I’ll write about something else.

I used to love to sing; when I was a little girl, that was my passion. I used to mimic Britney Spears and the Spice Girls back in their heyday, and always tried my best to sound like them. When people asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up, I enthusiastically replied “a singer!” My relatives always added their input in various attempts to steer me in a different direction; they frequently suggested that I should go into some form of writing, preferably journalism. But as a seven to maybe a ten or eleven year old, I would not be swayed. 

My Mom always aspired for us kids to have some kind of musical knowledge; from kindergarten to second grade I took piano lessons, mostly for the sake of strengthening my hand muscles. In fifth grade I expressed an interest in taking voice lessons, and from seventh grade to sophomore year in high school, I sang in the school choir. 

There was also making up random songs as I went about my day; whether it was walking to class or doing chores around the house, I always sang at very random moments. It was due to this that my classmates gave me the nickname “the boombox” I believe there was a brief period where I spent more time singing than I did talking. 

As I got older, that dream began to slowly fade; I suddenly began to notice how terrified I would get whenever I got up on stage to perform; my leg muscles tighten up when I get nervous, almost to the point where I start shaking. In turn, that always made focusing on the music very difficult. I also became insecure at how my voice sounded in the microphone (as it sounds over any type of electronic device); it was very squeaky and nasally, and I thought I sounded horrible. 

Toward the middle of my sophomore year, I decided that this was as far (musically-speaking) as I was going to go; it just simply wasn’t fun for me anymore and it felt like too much work. At the time, I vowed that aside from singing along to the radio and in passing, no one would ever hear me sing again, much less perform. 

But there are times where I miss it; not necessarily the grueling practices or the vocal exercises. I definitely don’t miss the butterflies tap-dancing in the pit of my stomach before every performance. But just in general, I miss it. And in 2011, there is a part of me that would like to face my fear and get up and sing just one more time. Maybe it’ll be in a lame kareoke competition. Maybe it’ll be at a random time in a random place. I really don’t know; but what I do know is that I would like to sing again in front of my college friends, if only just once. 

But in a more serious aspect, I would like to focus on my literary career…

I love to write, but I would love to also have my work published somehow; if you ask my friends, they’ll tell you that I already have. But personally, I don’t consider online to really be “published” It’s not much of an acclaimed literary magazine, much less an acclaimed website. 

I have submitted my stories to various contests, many of them yielding heavy-duty cash prizes as well as publishing your piece(s) in their magazine. The only quip I have with these things is that they cost fifteen, twenty, sometimes more bucks just to send something; and although I don’t consider myself a “poor college kid” I just don’t know if I can, or if I would even want to shell out that kind of money all the time. Perhaps a realistic goal would be to enter at least one contest each month? Yet I wonder just how much that would stack up eventually…

There is also a part of me that feels like I’m not fully equipped to be published just yet; I would like to take some writing classes and gain some more knowledge about the publishing industry in itself before I attempt to do anything major. And not only that, but I would prefer to start small and work my way up; just send in short stories to various literary publications and see where it goes. I do plan to turn those stories into novels, but as of this moment I’m not sure how. As I said before, I would like to better my craft a bit more. 

However, I remember a conversation that I had with one of my high school english teachers awhile back: That when it came to taking the path of least resistance, I always hit the breaks because I got scared of taking on a challenge. It was a very painful thing to hear, but she was one hundred percent right. Regardless of what it is, I often avoid challenging myself for a fear of working my ass off and breaking my back will yield no results. In this case, I’m afraid of spending years and years writing and trying to publish something, only to receive repeated rejection. 

I’ve been told that I should go into another field…and before I applied to any schools or universities, I thought about it: Psychology? I’m not a very patient person. Marketing and/or economics? I despise anything having to do with numbers. Teaching English classes? I don’t like getting up in front of people and talking, and I honestly don’t want to be standing up there teaching kids how to do something that deep in my heart I know I want to be doing. Marine biology? I’m in no way a science person. The list goes on…

When it all comes down to it, writing is the only thing that makes sense to me. Yes, I do want to be able to support myself financially; but what good is it to make money if you hate what you’re doing?

I thought about possibly waiting a year to see what kinds of opportunities come up; yet, I’ve learned that sometimes there is no particular “right” moment or opportunity; you just have to do it and trust that there is something good to be found on the other side. 

My biggest problem? Knowing where exactly to start.


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