For some of us, when we embark on the journey to pursue our dreams and practice our craft, we may not think in terms of being in the spotlight. We may know only that we want to understand the tingle in our hearts, follow where it leads, explore and expand it, weave it into every aspect of our lives and use it to impact people’s lives in a positive way.We want our work to shine but we don’t want the spotlight on us.
However, the spotlight finds us eventually. We shy away with, “No, no. It’s not about me. Turn of the spotlight. I just want to ‘do my thing’ quietly, in the background. Look at my work, not at me.”
I know that feeling and I’ve expressed a similar sentiment.
When writing found me in 1998, all I wanted was to share my love for interior design and inspire homeowners to find and embrace their personal style, in the sea of fleeting trends. When readers recognized me at the mall or supermarket, I felt a knot tighten in my stomach. They wanted to know about me but I felt awkward without the printed headshot and words to hide behind.
Now that my writing focuses on self-improvement, motivational/inspirational and life topics, emails from readers always seem to include comments that turn the spotlight on me, as a writer. And there’s the darn self-conscious knot, every time. When requests come in for me to speak, I freeze. I understand the connection between writing and speaking, but speaking is difficult because it requires that I be in the spotlight. There is no room for the background silence and solitude that help to fuel and inspire my writing.
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy talking with people who read my work and want to share their own life stories of difficulties, triumphs and dreams. I cherish conversations in person and online, with aspiring writers and fellow writers at varying stages of their writing careers. No spotlight there, just community, comaraderie, openness, sharing, encouragment to improve our writing and continueite obstacles and of course, celebration of goals achieved.
What do you do? What is your passion? What are your thoughts, how do you feel and respond when the spotlight turns on you – the person behind the dream, the person behind the work, the person behind the passion?