Fair warning—this short post may seem like it has nothing to do with writing, but it’ll work, I promise because everything for me really comes back to being a writer. Here we go…
An interviewer once said to me, “I want to be you when I’m 60. You seem so confident. In this youth-obsessed culture, how did you get and maintain that confidence, and where can I get some?”
My first answer was, of course, a snarky, “I’ve sure got you fooled, don’t I?” But the truth is I’ve spent so much of my life feeling bad about myself, mostly because I’m overweight. Honestly, this country’s fat hate is so demoralizing and I’ve just never believed I had much value because I am fat. Like the size of my ass has anything to do with how intelligent or kind or fun am. But one day, when I was about 55 and really menopausal, I came across a fabulous quote from the actress Camryn Manheim.
She said, “This is my body. I live in it, I play in it. I can’t deny it anymore. This is my fat body. I’m standing at the corner of Life and You Better Get Going. I stepped off the curb and I never looked back.”
That just smacked me right between the eyes. It was life-changing… I realized I’d wasted too many years hating myself and that if I didn’t love me, why should anyone else? So, I just decided I had to stop. I started looking for the sensual in everything, and I decided to stop being so afraid. I stepped out in faith and did so many new things—traveling, learning about wine, practicing my French, dressing to show off my curves instead of hiding how round I am, and most of all, writing.
Ha! I told you I’d get there. Well, sharing my writing has been grand and you know, even if I don’t sell a hundred books, I’m doing something I love. I mean truly love, and if that’s not a confidence builder, what is?
So talk to me…tell me how you maintain your confidence in a world where romance authors frequently seem to be treated like second-class writers?