It’s been a long time since I posted one of your amazing #ShowMeYourBrave stories, my friends. I’m sorry about that. Between the lazy days of summer, a vacation, other writing gigs, and getting back into the school routine, I’ve neglected to post. That’s about to change, because I’m doing something that scares me: I’m pitching this project to literary agents this fall. Eek. There, I said it out loud, so I better be accountable.
That’s why this particular story is so fitting for this week. Caroline has done what I am scared to do, and I hope you find Caroline’s story as inspirational as I do, every day.
So being the centre of attention scares the bejezus out of me.
Which is totally OK. I have no need for spotlights. I Mom. I write. I bake. (I have a happy, non-spotlight-ed-life)
Then, I was nominated for the Silver Birch Award.
This is an AMAZING Canadian award for children’s literature. And I was nominated for my first book “Boredom Busters“. It’s like the Grammy’s of kids books.
Don’t get me wrong…I was beyond honoured to have been nominated. I was floored to be asked to attend the award ceremony. I was super happy my book was successful (doesn’t everyone want success?!). But then…there was the roadblock of going on stage.
The ceremony was in front of a bazillion kids and teachers and librarians…and my daughter. (Aside: this was the first of three nominee events surrounding the Silver Birch award that week — it was a trilogy of having the bejezus scared out of me in one week).
I thought of sending an email sending my regrets for attending.
I lost my appetite because I was too busy being anxious.
I had a cluster of itty-bitty panic attacks.
I. Did. Not. Want. To. Go. On. Stage.
So, I made a plan. 1. Go on stage. 2. Resist urge to throw up. 3. Say “I am honoured to be part of this amazing day. Thank you so much.” 4. Retreat to the safety of my chair on stage 5. Walk off stage. 6. Done like dinner.
Simple plan. To the point plan. Good plan.
All went well from 1-4. Then, as I waited for good ol’ #5 there was a roadblock in my plan. Apparently, someone opened an envelope and called my name.
Because I was so bejezus-ly scared…I didn’t hear them.
I looked out into the vast crowd and saw my daughter who was mouthing STAND UP very authoritatively. Huh? People to the left and right were looking at me. Faces in the crowd staring right at me. I was the centre of attention. Think: deer in headlights.
I won the Silver Birch honour book award (kinda like 2nd place). Wowzers!
And at this point, I realized…the panic was gone. It wasn’t because I had won the award. It was because I had gotten on stage. The worst was over.
Now did I freak out the next two times that week I had to go up on stage? Damn right I did. Every. Single. Time.
But now I know, if I power through the panic…brave will be on the other side. 🙂
The #ShowMeYourBrave Project asks people, “What’s the bravest, scariest, or most intimidating thing you’ve ever done?”. The idea of the project is to share stories of everyday bravery and human resilience to bring us closer together. In sharing, we not only find our voices, but we find support, allies, and others who have faced similar challenges. If you would like to submit your story, we would love to feature your bravery here.