The one Emily hesitated to post

            In the comments awhile back, someone wrote that she likes my non-substantive posts because they make me seem “more human.”  Yikes.  I hadn’t meant to appear inhuman, I emailed her.  In response, she sent a very nice email saying that she felt my writing made me seem somehow unreachable.

            I’m here to tell you guys, I am mightily insecure sometimes.  I don’t like how I look since having children.  Not my body.  That’s fine.  When you have a metabolism like mine, most of the calories go in one end and then hitchhike to Guam for the weekend.  But, I look tired and drawn out.  My hair is unkempt.  I don’t even own contacts anymore because, should I ever get a chance for a nap, I want to be prepared to shut my eyes instantly.  I accessorize with things like oatmeal and urine that missed the toilet.

            While I do not post pictures of the boys to protect their privacy, I do not post my own picture for two reasons.  1) Too many pictures and links drag down load times.  2) Who the heck wants to see a picture of me looking like I do right now?  But, if Blog Antagonist can be brave enough to post her picture, darn it, I will post mine.


That’s me.  Well, actually, that’s me with Benjamin’s head while we admire waterfowl together.  I had to go all the way back to August to even find a picture of me that I could crop the boys out of. 

            Oh, and you don’t have to comment how lovely I am.  You are all really nice, and I know you will, but I won’t believe you anyway.  I told you I am insecure.

            Lately, however, I am not just insecure about my looks.  These days, I am mighty insecure about my writing.  Some days, I believe in myself.  I query agents, hoping to find someone who wants to help sell the book; I glow when they ask to see the manuscript based on my writing sample.  Then, the rejections come in.  And I take it hard.  Awfully hard.

            I try not to.  Who cares if I don’t sell the book in the long run?  My life is still pretty darned good.  But, now and then, self-absorption and insecurity come bopping along.  

Edited: Big chunk chopped out so I wouldn’t lose Chani’s respect

             Am I as insecure as I was when I was thirteen and the ugliest girl in my eighth grade class?  No.  (Could you imagine going through life like that?!)  Am I feeling a little less talented, less attractive, and less of an intellect than I would like?  You betcha.

            How’s that for making me seem human?

19 responses to “The one Emily hesitated to post

  1. Pretty tricky. You’ve convinced my computer not to let me see the picture.

    Emily, I think you’re a terrific writer. I’m not going to click because I just don’t, for a variety of reasons. However, I will tell you this – a few months back I read one of your posts for Just Post, and then I read your entire archive. In one sitting.

    Oh, sure, I’m no writer, and I’m just a stay-at-home mom, so what else have I got to do.

    or maybe I’m canny and super-selective about who I read.

    You decide.

  2. I did click.. only because it meant something to you. Truthfully, I absolutely detest this kind of competitive stuff and will *only* click for people who ask directly. All this popularity crap really annoys me, to be honest about it.

    You are a good writer and I’ve consistently enjoyed everything you choose to write. I’d hate to see you get lost in popularity contests.

    Really. That’s as honest as I can be.. and I hope you’re not angry at me but I just needed to say it…. maybe kind of like you needed the click.


  3. Firstly, you were not the ugliest girl in the school in 8th grade. I know. I was there. You were quite cute. In fact, 8th grade was the first time I had a crush on you, in our music class. So don’t go there. We’re all self-conscious about the way we look Even the stunningly gorgeous ones like me and you!

    I am not an easily intimidated guy. I’ve been through enough and I know that I’m stronger willed than the vast majority of those out there. But there is one thing that intimidates me. Talent. Especially in areas that I find myself lacking in. Your writing talent is intimidating Emily. That should be taken as a compliment. If I were a better writer that would have been clearer from the outset.

  4. I’m concerned that my comment was a bit too harsh. I didn’t mean to sound like such a judgmental ass. I have no less respect for you than I did yesterday or the day before.

    I guess… here it is.. when I read a voice as powerful as yours, I don’t want to see it degraded. It is pure. It is strong. It is and could be life-changing for people who don’t have that wonderful, clear voice. Maybe you will never know who has really heard you. Maybe you will. Maybe it will be some innocent little private email that says, “thanks for speaking for me. I didn’t have the words.”

    When it comes to your writing, you have absolutely nothing to be insecure about!

    These voting things are typically popularity contests. Cyber-friends vote for cyber-friends. It really does little more than verify that you have cyber-friends. It doesn’t speak to quality. It’s MySpace for adults.

    And if that’s the standard, I guess I don’t have cyber-friends. I was neither nominated nor voted for.

    So, what? I know I have friends because I hear from them regularly and they trust me with their secrets.

    Okay. I’ve shot my wad about this. I apologize for hijacking your comments section for my personal jihad on this topic. I’ll shut up now. 🙂

  5. I actually read through the comments to see whether the word “photo” in place of where the photo (presumably?) is supposed to be was some kind of postmodern mind trick. Is there actually a photo? Will I see it if I use Safari?

  6. Em, I think we’re all insecure. The fact that some of us can pull off sounding superhuman from time to time is just cake. I will always feel fat, but I am a size 4. I will always think that someone is going to leave me—will they? I believe that I’m not good enough– plenty of people tell me the contrary. See what I mean? I think you’re great—in more and in less substantive situations. I just wish my brain had more time to sit still and think through the meatier subjects that you address.

  7. I don’t see a photo either bubandpie!

    I think it’s true of some writers – they can come across as unreachable because they are so talented and that intimidates other writers and other readers. It’s nice to know that you have issues just like everyone else – we all have issues and are lucky to have people that like us in spite of those issues. You are a fine writer and I enjoy your writing and your stories – keep it up. Take care. Kellan

  8. Where is the photo? I remember the first time I posted my photo on the blog. It took more guts to do that than to write any of my posts.

  9. It’s such a pity that insecurity dogs so many a life. I wonder how we can ensure that the next generation don’t suffer the same fate?

  10. Pingback: Photo again… and a little news « Wheels on the bus

  11. I had thought it took a huge amount of self-confidence for you to write (and post online) your heart-rending childhood story that led me to this blog in the first place. I’m both surprised and intrigued.

    I imagine (only because I’ve never actually submitted anything) that it must be extremely discouraging to get rejection letters, but for what it’s worth, I’m sure your book will find its place. It is so moving and spellbinding it can’t not get published.

    P.S. you look great in your photo.

  12. you look great! I just started reading your blog and I love it.

  13. People who never question themselves or their ability are, in the end, George Bush.

    Okay okay!! That was rude.

    Seriously, most of us are insecure because the awake ones sense their lack of perfection. The wise ones accept it and the courageous ones go for goals anyway.

    It’s a lot , rejection. It is. It’s tough. I believe your story has been worth telling and I have to believe it will find its time and place.

    Using My Words

  14. The first thing I thought of when I saw your picture was that you look a lot like…me. Except the naturally thin thing, of course. Remind me to send you some deep-fried cheesecake, you lucky girl.

    Anyway, my point is: we all have days where urine and vomit are our accessories and no amount of flat ironing is going to make it a good hair day. My hair is currently sticking out in two places like odd little antlers, for example, but I’m good with it. I think it’s kind of the reindeer look.

    But I think you are a lovely thing, and I’m not just saying that because it must then also mean that I look lovely (since I think you look like me).

    I might have been intimidated by you too, once upon a time, because you are very smart and well-read, and dry and witty, and I am normally reticent and unsure of myself. Yet much about you is also vulnerable and warm and caring…and I saw it even through your polite insistence at times that you were not.

    How do you like those apples, now? 😉

    Additionally, I am stealing Chani’s “personal jihad” euphemism and using it shamelessly when I am passionate about a topic from now on.

  15. Oh, and as a writer? You are easily one of the best I’ve come across. And I would never give that compliment lightly.

    Publishing is a rough gig. Someone will recognize your brilliance soon enough, and then I can get rich selling copies of the comments you’ve left me on eBay.

  16. you’ve always seemed very human to me, and your writing brings that about beautifully, but I enjoyed getting a glimpse of your physical self all the same.

  17. I have always gotten the opposite feelings from your posts – you seem very human to me. Your posts are not just general fluff, but about personal happenings or feelings.

    As far as your writing goes – the “right” publisher is out there somewhere. Don’t give up hope!

  18. i’ve always felt you were warm and engaging, quite easy to approach…

    and you’re adorable to boot!

  19. Hey, at least you send queries. That takes courage. I don’t even make it that far, usually. I just keep writing, and never actually do anything with it.

    So who’s the brave one?