Why do we second-guess ourselves? Why do I? There’s this online writing class that I have been debating with myself about signing up for. One minute I’m clicking on the link to sign myself up and the next minute I’m up out of my chair and walking away from the computer. Because I’m scared to commit to this class. So why am I doing this?
I tell myself that I’m worried that I won’t have the time to complete the assignments since I’m home all day with the kids. It’s true, but there are a few hours in the day when my husband is home and I can sneak away to write.
I tell myself that I will have major writer’s block and sit in front of my computer with a brain empty of ideas. Or that any ideas I have will be lame or over-done or clichéd.
I tell myself these things, but they aren’t the reason I can’t bring myself to commit to this class. I don’t want to suck. That’s the reason. I always try and play it safe and do things I know I will succeed at. Because I’m a poor loser. As my husband can attest to when we played Russian Monopoly together the first time (yes, I said Russian Monopoly) and I upended the game board in his face upon losing. Since he has done this as well, we laughed about it later. Still doesn’t change the fact that I hate to lose.
I’ve never taken a writing class online. I’m old in regards to the Internet since it was just gaining popularity while I was completing college. But I’m not blind to the way the Internet has broken down communication. This idea is an entire blog post waiting to happen. Another time. But I’ve received peer criticism of my writing in person – as in face-to-face – and it wasn’t very pleasant. I can only imagine the horror of hearing what people will have to say now that they will never have to look me in the eyes while they are ripping my stuff to shreds.
That’s losing to me. Being ripped to shreds by your peers. I know I’m smart. I’ve been known to even have a good idea or two. I know I’m a decent writer. I have some confidence in these areas. That’s the secret of the Poor Loser, though. S/he can make you second-guess yourself. “You’re good, but what if you lose this one time?You know you hate losing! You might embarrass yourself royally. Don’t do it!” It’s the Poor Loser whispering in my ear, making me want to walk away without trying.
There is, however, one thing the Poor Loser hasn’t quite figured out about me. There is one thing I hate even more than losing. Being told what to do.
So tell me not to do it. I dare you! (Please?)