That I have a fear of being blown into the Grand Canyon.
And did you know?
That in a dust-covered cardboard box labeled “Maleah’s college stuff” is a rumpled newspaper article from the Salt Lake Tribune, April 27, 1994. The last sentence quotes me, a nineteen-year-old college freshman, and reportedly I said, “I have anxiety about writing and having people read what I write.”
So what, in good glory, am I doing on a writers’ blog?
For years, my fear of writing for the public overpowered my love for writing. (Yes, I am also in possession of an ancient cassette tape–press play and hear me as a squeaky-voiced, ten-year-old fourth grader declare, “I love to write; I want to grow up and write stories for people to read.”)
Now, I approach writing with a (somewhat) fearless disregard for public opinion–because, what the heck, I have:
* pushed a human the size of a seven pound bowling ball through a one centimeter bodily crevice without pain meds (not by choice…the first time) while naked from the waist down in a room full of strangers,
*slid to the cliff of mental reason and did not fall off the edge,
*watched every last penny of life savings slurp into a bottomless, black business hole,
*and returned each time, still breathing, still alive, and still mostly happy.
I. Can. Write.
Michael Jordan said,
I’ve missed more than 90,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games, 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
If I need to invest 10,000 hours of practice in order to excel at writing, (thank you Malcolm Gladwell and Dr. Livingston, I presume) then, by golly, I’d better get crackin’!
Up, up, and away…
post script: here is the Vogue-worthy (so not!) photo of me that appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune next to the article, “Gang Presence Unnerves Residents” – not the article for which I was interviewed. Okay, Loraine, this is my bulbous-head-mini-feet mug. Let’s see yours!
By the way, this photo was the model for the new Maleah Bobblehead, available at Wal-mart this Fall (also, so not! phew).