Tuesday, March 10, 2009

PUTTING YOURSELF OUT THERE

Sometimes we find ourselves doing something we never wanted to do in the first place but do it anyway because … well, because of a lot of reasons.
I was reminded of this human … what? Strength? Weakness? Lack of judgment? Well, anyway, I was reminded about the way we put ourselves out there tonight as Dancing With the Stars started up another season. (Yes, I‘m addicted) Clearly, there are dancers in the cast who are waayyy out of their element. For instance: we have a cowboy, a comedian, a centerfold model, a rapper, a country singer, a football player … and the list goes on and on. Now, yes, there is most certainly money involved to get them to agree to participate and there ARE those amazing costumes :o) but the bottom line is that these people are really risking a lot by just showing up. Two of the contestants (Jewel and someone I don’t know) incurred injuries while practicing that took them out of the competition. That’s REALLY putting yourself out there. Then there’s the humiliation factor. Truly, some of the dancers are so horrible you just want to dig a hole for them so they can disappear and not experience the ridicule the judges are going to dole out. And who wants to be the first one voted off?

As writers, we put ourselves out there all the time. Yes, we want to be read, and yes, we want to make a living but the truth is while we HOPE everyone from our editor to our readers love our books, there are going to be those who will trash every word we write. And while I’ve grown thick skin over the years I’ve got to tell you, those mean spirited reviews still hurt. And still, I keep writing.

Also, look at all the other reality shows where people let everyone and their dog in on their personal lives. That, I REALLY don't get. And let's talk about Celebrity Apprentice. Talk about big egos and yet, they're putting it out there for elimination. On a smaller scale - Karaoke anyone?? We've all made fools of ourselves doing that. Right? Right???

So, my question to you all is, when was the last time you put yourself out there? What was it you did? And for goodness sake, why did you do it? And if you haven’t put yourself out there, do you want to? Why do you think other people really do it? Are we masochists? (and I don’t mean sexually) Are we seeking recognition? Do we just like the thrill of taking the chance? What’da ya think, hum??

11 comments:

Playground Monitor said...

When? Uhm... yesterday. I entered an online pitch contest at eHarlequin and yesterday I was selected as one of 11 finalists who get to pitch a book to a Special Edition editor in the chat room. And the pitch is in two days. Can you say panic??? I guess writing is a different kind of "putting yourself out there" because we DO want it. But rejection is always in the back of your mind.

I love DWTS and Celebrity Apprentice and I know there has to be money involved to do this. I mean, who the heck ever thought Kenny Mayne or Master P might be able to dance. On the other hand, who ever thought Warren Sapp could either? Sometimes they surprise you.

Marilyn

Cindy Gerard said...

Yea Marilyn!!! Good for you. And congrats on being among the top finalists. Fingers crossed all the way around!

Oh - and in case you don't remember, Master P CAN'T dance :o)

lois greiman said...

Right there with y' Cindy. Guts on the line everyday. I don't think we can even attempt to write without doing it that way. But I'm trying to do other things too. NOT karaoke. Thank you very much. But other things.

And hey, Marilyn, good for you!!

Helen Brenna said...

Yay, Marilyn!! Congrats and good luck to you!

Boy, Cindy, as a writer I really do feel as though I'm putting myself out there. While I tell myself that everyone can't possibly like every single on of my books, I still want them to!! lol

"Putting ourselves out there" is like moving "out of our comfort zone" but doing it in front of people. Something I don't do very often.

I'm pretty shy and introverted, so it doesn't come naturally. (Unless there's a Chippendale in the vicinity!)

But I think these are the things that keep us alive and vital and help us continue to grow. I could use a little of that right now. Shake things up a bit.

A friend of mine took a striptease class! How's that for putting yourself out there?

Cindy Gerard said...

Lois and Helen - more and more I feel like I'm laying it all on the line with the writing. The market gets tougher and tougher with the tight economy and rightfully so, people are picky especially when it comes to spending their hard earned money.

A good friend once told me that to live to the fullest, that every day you should do something that scares you. sometimes that first look in the mirror qualifies :o)

Kathleen Eagle said...

What a question, Cindy! I feel like I'm "putting myself out there" just coming up with an answer.

I, too, am basically shy. Every time I get up in front of a group to speak, I'm putting myself out there, even if it's a group of students who are theoretically there because they already believe I have something to offer.

Every single time I go to a social event I'm putting myself out there. I would gladly affix myself to the wallpaper and go unnoticed.

Every blessed time I do a book signing I have to talk myself into it, knowing that I this could well be the time absolutely no one shows up.

Every breath-holding time I send in a manuscript I am putting myself out there, having put the raw, tender edges of myself within those pages.

And every terrifying time I write "Chapter I" I'm putting myself out there to come up with the next words, and the next, and the next. What if they're nowhere to be found? What if I've run out? What if, what if...

We writers live and die by what if, and I'm willing to be that every one of us--no matter what kind of armor we've managed to forge for ourselves--is basically shy and introverted like Helen and me.

I think we do it because writers write, and they want their writing to be read. Somewhere along the line some of us realize that this combination could add up to making a living if readers are willing to pay. So we put our shy selves out there. We pile on the armor, but the insecurities never go away. Guess we're just people.

Cindy Gerard said...

Kathy - you are so right! On all counts. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who feels this way:o)

Michele Hauf said...

I have to agree with all the writers--we do put something out there. Sometimes I'm not too sure what that 'thing' is, but take it or leave it, I say.

I LOVE Dancing With The Stars and I was so impressed with Gilles last night, whose only claim to fame is the 'we almost saw it' nude scene in Sex and The City. :-)

catslady said...

Mary O'Dell was the other one that got hurt (some nightly entertainment show). I think the Apple computer guy will go first and then maybe the cowboy lol.

I think the latest thing was doing the Wii fit for the first time in front of my 20 something daughters and my son-in-law. It actually got me to start exercising when I realized I couldn'd do very much. I also play mario cart with them and I'm really horrible at it - but still it's fun lol.

Cindy Gerard said...

Hey Catslady. You're right. It was Mary O'Dell
and on the Wii - isn't it fun? My fav is bowling and racing cows.

Cindy Gerard said...

Michelle
i was impressed with Gilles too. What a hottie - of course, anyone who saw SITC knows that but the boy can dance :o)