Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Putting Yourself "Out There"

Last week, my daughter’s ADEC choir (all-district elementary choir) had the honor of performing  in front of the Texas Music Educators Association Convention.  They were one of eight elementary choirs chosen in the state. I have to say, I’m so impressed that my daughter made it this far with her gene pool. I’m tone deaf, and her dad sounds like…uh… well…*coughs into hand* he sounds better than me.

Driving from Dallas to San Antonio was a trek, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. 
The whole choir experience made me think about my blog post. ADEC is a qualifying choir.  My daughter had to try out at her school before moving on to the next level; auditioning at the high school. 

When I was a sixth-grader, I would never have cleared the first hurdle: putting myself out there.  Singing in front of people by myself? No way. As a writer, that's exactly what we must do. But our words are written, instead of sung. Our practice "matching pitch" is perfecting the craft of writing and finding our voice. And we try out in front of trusted critique partners, in preparation for agents and publishers.

If writing with the intent to publish, at some point your writing will have other eyes. While we writerly types count on an agent, critique partners, and beta readers, for help, once the book is sent, it's out there for everyone to see. And just like music, there's a lot of subjectivity related to taste.  What one person loves, another may not. 

Our job as writers is to follow Janet Wrenn’s advice and Research Before Submitting; find the right eyes, or ears, before launching yourself out there. Remember, even if you feel like you’re standing there in your underwear, the person reading your words is wearing underwear, too. If they aren’t, well, that’s another blog post.

And if you do have to sing, or write alone, it’s nice to know your friends are rooting for you. Because you have to take that first step, putting yourself out there.


  1. I love this post! It is beautiful and true. And congrats to your brave daughter on her accomplishments! It is always difficult to bring something of yourself forward, in any art form.

  2. Great post and so true. I agree, congrats to your kidlet, I remember those days in school doing the choir and orchestra competitions. Putting something you love, a piece of you on display is a hard thing. A+ for just doing it!

    1. Thanks, Janet! I could never put anything "out there" when I was a kid. I'm pretty impressed my daughter does. And that you did (I was invited to be a lip-singer in elementary)

  3. This is so me. It took a major rough patch for me to get over my introverted ways and stop caring about everyone's opinions but my own. Great post.

  4. Great post, Charlotte! Sending congratulations to your daughter! And kudos to you for putting yourself out there. I'd never have met you if you hadn't. :D P.S. Looking forward to the commando post! xo
    In gratitude,

  5. Your timing is superb Miss Charlotte! I'm editing my WIP and I'm dreading the day I address them all. I know I'll have to be brave and let someone else look at it. I have no problem being a mouthy broad and can stand in front of a room and make a fool of myself. No problem! But my writing?! me the hee-bee-jeebees just thinking about it. But I'll do it! I swear I will! Y'all are great support!
    Hugs for this post,
    SillySilly (Laura A.)

  6. Nothing happens until we put ourselves out there! #NowIsTheTime