I am not a shy person. Call it extrovertedness. Call it being an Army brat. Call it a desperate need for approval. But if I walk into a room of strangers, I will be the first person to walk up to someone I don't know, put out my hand, and say—Hi, I'm Claire. What's your name? I think that actually may be the first full sentence I ever spoke.
Regardless of my desperate need to be liked (see video above), I sincerely enjoy meeting new people. Learning their story. But the longer I live (hello 30, I see you!)... the more I'm realizing that it's hard to tell mine.
Here's the deal. For most people, work looks like showing up. Doing a good job. Hoping you get recognized. Leveraging that recognition into promotions or a new gig. Etc. Etc. into infinity. For creative-types, (think writers, musicians, artists, producers) work looks like showing up. Doing what you desperately hope is a good job because there's no one out there to really compare to when you're trying to create something new. And instead of hoping you get recognized, you must actively endeavor to be recognized, while suffering myriads of rejection.
So far, I have sent my novel-in-progress to a total of TWO agents. Both have turned it down. One never wrote me back. The other asked me to keep working and try again.
Since then.... (and it's been about a year)... I've been in a hellish hole of self-doubt, unable to hit send. The Army brat in me is dying to reach across the room and introduce myself. The creative in me is desperately trying to find a hole to crawl in where I can avoid disappointment. It's kind of a cluster-f#$% in my head, if you can imagine.
But today. I'm hitting send. On an email to an agent. On this blog post. Because hey. Why not. What's the worst thing that can happen?
You don't like me?
Ha! Do I need to be liked? Absolutely not. I like to be liked. I enjoy being liked. I have to be liked. But it's not like this compulsive need to be liked, like my need to be praised...