Playing the Part
Have you ever noticed it can be a challenge to transform your life from who you are to who you long to be? For years, one of my deepest desires was to become a published author. In 2008, I finally started writing it. And all of the doubts started.
Who am I to think that I can write a book?
I’m sure my book won’t be any good even if I finish it.
I’ll never find a publisher.
Who would want to read it anyway?
Despite my misgivings, I decided that if I was going to be an author, I needed to start playing the part. And why not? As children, we aren’t afraid to play the parts of doctor, teacher, artist, athlete and parent. We easily slip into these roles and try them for a while.
I began playing author by reading chapters of my manuscript out loud in my local Toastmasters meeting. I wrote an introduction that said I was author of this book, even though the book was far from completed. At first, I felt really stupid calling myself an author. But eventually, my doubts, insecurities and demons diminished. I wouldn’t cringe at the introduction and didn’t feel quite so embarrassed as I read my chapters to my Toastmaster friends.
It took me nearly two-and-a-half years to finally complete writing, find a publisher and actually see my book in bookstores. But I will tell you that Cycling, Wine, and Men: A Midlife Tour de France wouldn’t have come into existence if I hadn’t learned to play the part of an author. What would you do if you had the courage to try? Try playing the part of the person you want to be and notice how your life transforms.
Nancy, I remember those chapter readings. When I heard that introduction, I never once questioned your claim to the word “author.” I always thought, “Oh, good – Nancy’s sharing another chapter of her book” and not “…another chapter of her unpublished manuscript.” If that was trying on a role for you, all I can say is you had me fooled! Thanks for inspiring me to keep working toward being the speaker I WANT to be.