My friend Justin is from New York.  I am from Georgia.  And Justin says that a major difference between Northern and Southern parents is this- Southern parents make their daughters feel like they can do ANYTHING.  Never mind your skill set or ability, “baby, if you wanna do it, then darlin’ you can do it”.

I laughed when he said that, thinking, “He doesn’t get it.  They just love us and want us to know that the world is our mountain oyster.”

[If you get that joke, I apologize.]

Yesterday I had a discouraging defeating day professionally.  I got an email about some of my writing that literally sent my heart to the floor. I’ll be honest, I couldn’t even read the entire thing.  I read a paragraph, then closed my computer and watched TV through the blurring tears.  [The Cosby Show is soothing, I don’t care what you say.]

Being that I don’t employ an assistant [currently], I knew I was going to have to finish reading the email myself.  So I put on my working woman face and read it.

And once the shock wore off and my mind began to clear, this popped into my head- Justin was right.

Just because I want to do something, doesn’t necessarily mean I can do it.  Example- I really REALLY want to play the piano, but I can’t. I want to be a back up singer, a famous actress, go on tour around the USA in a bus, and have my own cooking show.

And I really want to be an excellent writer and a competent editor.

I went to the Andrew Peterson Christmas show last night and the first 30 minutes devastated me.  Because I watched some of the people I respect the most as songwriters (Peterson, Osenga, Bebo) perform songs they have written that are so good it makes my insides hurt.

And then there’s me. Nashville’s most recent writing failure.

I was sitting next to my friend Sam and I kept thinking, “DO. NOT. CRY. ANNIE. DO. NOT. CRY.”, cause poor Sam did not sign up to deal with a face smack of my crazy.

And I didn’t cry.  Because I began to sense God calming my heart and speaking rationally to me.  Though Justin may be right and Mama may be wrong about my immense amount of skillz, I’m good, I’m just really new at this.  These dudes who write great music and words that cause deep emotion?  They’ve been doing it for YEARS.  This Christmas show alone has been going on for 9 years.  9 years ago I was a sophomore at UGA.  From then until now these musicians have been practicing their craft full time.

I have been practicing my craft full time since the neighborhood pools closed for the winter.  So.  That’s about 5 months.

I have to work harder and constantly improve as a creative person- in editing and writing.  And meanwhile focus on finding work in the areas that I really excel at- like this kind of writing, where we’re just talking. And writing that cracks you up. And editing stories that need flow and heart. And helping other writers sound better.

And I have to remember that I have time.  Time to get better.  Time to gain the experience I need.  Time to get paid enough to buy trendy clothes guilt-free.

Time to become the writer that the email says I’m not [but my Southern parents say I am].

__________

Tomorrow, an upbeat fun-to-read blog about the AP Christmas Show.  Sorry to be Debbie Downer two Fridays in a row.  Sheesh.