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There Really Is Enough Room In The Pond

 


I've truly been blessed to meet, get to know, and even become friends with hundreds

—possibly thousands— of writers over the last three decades.

Many of those contacts have come through the Oklahoma Writers' Federation Inc., SoonerCon, Yard Dog Press, and a score of other writing groups, writing conferences, and Sci-Fi conventions I've attended.

Once upon a time, I was envious of how much more talent some of those writers possessed. I felt insignificant. I was a tiny drop of water in a giant sea. I was always struggling to keep my head above water, and always sinking farther and farther below more talented and more successful authors.

When I retired from the theatre, nearly 35 years ago, I retired at a time when I was completely confident in my talent and abilities as an actor. I retired at a time when I was at my peak and knew I could have been a professional actor if I had pursued that career.

Because of that confidence, I had the ability to walk away from the theatre to have babies—babies and theatre don't go together very well—without any regrets or resentments.

I might have been a little cocky at the time. But, I felt I had fully proven myself. I was confident and content enough in my own abilities, I didn't feel like I was being denied anything.  

Now that the kids are grown, I've dabbled in acting a bit. I've performed in a few plays, written a few plays, been a background extra in a few movies, written a few short films, and been a consultant on a few full length movie scripts.

I have not pursued a full time, professional acting career, because it's harder work than most people realize.

The hours are long and exhausting—even for a background extra.

These days, I'm too old, fat, and lazy to work that hard.

I'm content with being an extra in a movie a couple of times a year, and being involved with the NamronPlayers Theatre occasionally.

For now, I'm more focused on writing.

I think I've improved over the years. I'm not as envious of other writers who are more talented and successful. After all, I am not in competition with anyone except myself; even when I am in a writing competition with other writers.

I no longer feel the need to be as good, or better than other writers. I am content to be a better writer today than yesterday. My goal is to be even better tomorrow.

Improvement comes with practice. Practice may not really make perfect, but it most definitely makes better.

So, I practice.

I practice. I study. I watch my peers and learn from them.

I may not be as productive or poetic as some writers. I may not be able to wield imagery and symbolism like a Knight of the writing realm. But, I'm getting better at all those things.

I no longer feel like I am sinking or drowning.

I am not floating around out there on a vast sea all alone.

I am surrounded by talented authors, supportive friends, and amazing mentors. We lift one another up above the waves, and hold one another's heads out of the water.

We are not in competition with one another. We are all in the same boat. We are all doing the best we can and striving to get better at what we are doing.

There is strength in numbers.

There truly is enough room for all of us in the same pond.

 

If you are looking for a place to swim with other writers, join OKLAHOMA WRITERS' FEDERATION INC. 

You do not need to live in Oklahoma.

Jump in with both feet. The water is fine.

 

OWFI affiliates meeting Sat. Oct 1, 2022

Oklahoma Romance WritersGuild

 

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