I haven’t played #SOCS on a Saturday for a couple of weeks, but reservation is an interesting word. Especially for those of us who have lived with being ‘shy’ or ‘reserved’ or ‘quiet’ all our lives.
I knew since I was a kid that I wanted to make my living from writing, but I remember my careers teacher at high school responding to my expressing an interest in journalism along the lines of ‘oh no, that’s not for you. You have to be very confident to be a journalist, it wouldn’t suit you at all’. Ditto fashion designer, lawyer and actor as I recall. Eventually I suggested maybe I should be a long distance lorry driver so that I wouldn’t have to talk to anyone. I don’t remember getting any more careers advice after that.
But I digress. Being reserved is something that’s held me back longer than I care to admit. Feeling vaguely awkward at work, saying nothing for fear of saying the wrong thing, not being able to strike up conversations with other mums at the school gate, all that kind of stuff. It never quite goes away. Although I have a group of really close friends, I am usually the quietest one in a group. I’m going out to a hen night tonight, and I bet I’ll say the least of anyone.
One thing I’ve realised as I’ve got older though, is that everything can be improved by practice. Self confidence becomes a habit the more you practice at it. I’ve recently gone freelance for the first time, after years in a steady job, and I realised after the first few days that I could very easily retreat into a cosy world of me, my computer and my emails, if I didn’t watch out. So I’ve been making a conscious effort – to stay engaged with the outside world and keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Rather than emailing new contacts, I’m forcing myself to phone them, introduce myself and have a chat. Fixing up lunch dates with fellow freelance friends and ex-colleagues. I read a short story out for the first time at my writing group last month, and I’ve even shared a video of my bad guitar playing on this blog. I reckon if I keep making these efforts, I’ll actually come out of this freelance working more confident, and less reserved, even though I’m spending most of my working week on my own in front of my computer now.
Written for Stream of Consciousness Saturday hosted by Linda G. Hill. This week’s prompt was reservation. If you’d like to take part the rules, borrowed from Linda’s site, are as follows:
1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.
2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.
3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.
4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.
5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.
6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!
7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.
8. Have fun!