Thursday, February 14, 2008

Footloose and Fancy Free

As a child I loved musicals. Shirley Temple, Fred Astaire, anything with a song and dance delighted me. I sang and danced along with gleeful abandon.

When I was 5 my mother took me to a tap dance class. Naturally, she thought this child who sings show tunes in the hallway and dances to Teddy Bears on Parade will love this class. I was excited until we arrived and I discovered I would have to dance in front of others. I was painfully shy (yes I know hard to believe!) and simply could not let loose in front of strangers.

We returned home, my dancing dreams on hold but my love for the art form firmly intact. I still love to dance and do so frequently with the same gleeful abandon I had at age 5. I dance until I am breathless and spent, but never for an audience.

In the past week, I heard three different variations on the “dance as though nobody is watching” quote. Two of the variations revolved around the theme of writing as though no one is reading. I love to dance but writing is my passion.

I now write for a living and it thrills me, but I no longer write as though no one is reading. The same fears that gripped me in that long ago dance studio creep back in to mock me daily. “People are watching, you’ll really screw it up and make a fool of yourself.” Each client project brings a fresh wave of doubt mixed with the pleasure that I get to do this for a living.

Yet, I long to go back in time and quiet those idiot voices, to step out onto that dance floor and work it out!

Instead, I have decided to work it out on paper (or screen). I will write as though no one is reading. Tapping keys, twirling pens, words moving in time to the music of my choosing, and writing until I am spent and breathless. No longer bound by the voices that hold me back from expressing, learning and growing and most importantly enjoying something I love.

What about you? There is room on the dance floor for us all. Will you join me?

Karen

3 comments:

Joanna said...

Yes please :-)

I can't tell you how happy I was to read this post Karen. It's wonderful to hear your words playing, making music, dancing.

Your blog is a perfect, wonderful space and opportunity to write out loud - and save the other stuff for work!

I'll be here whenever you dance :-)

Joanna

Words For Hire said...

@Joanna - you have been an incredible inspiration and I really appreciate your support! Here's to dancing, writing and living out loud! Karen

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