Friday, September 01, 2006


I've started a blog for my storytelling gigs to have in place for the time when I am ready to be more than semi-professional. I say "semi" professional because I've gotten paid for storytelling gigs, I've trained as a storyteller in a public library setting, but for tax purposes, I'm still listed as a Home-Maker. That title smarts, because for all the lip-service paid to parenting, the title is still a euphemism for "non-wage earner."

I'm scared to market myself. I've had to come to terms with my childhood and teenage ambitions of greatness. I always assumed that I'd be a famous and successful writer, and that if I worked at the writing long and hard enough, the expected accolades would follow. High school writing classes were harsh wake-up calls, and my grades plummeted to C's. I had a hard time with criticism.

Now, I think I'm a pretty good writer, a pretty good storyteller, and I want to become even better over the years. Still, I don't have the drive to put my writing and storytelling above everything else. There are a lot of people my age and younger who are way more gifted than I am, and I'm fine with that. I really am. Most days. Some days I want to be the best at something that other people desire to do well, but it's fleeting. Most days, I want to be good enough.

What I really want is tell stories, sing songs and be a presence in the community. I want to be in demand for local library and school programs without being in competition with other storytellers and performers in the area. I want to put "Storyteller" in the spots on forms where it says to list my profession, and I don't want to cringe when I do it. I am scared that I don't have what it takes to market myself.

I'll do what I have always done, which is fake the confidence until it becomes real.
That brings me to my new blog, Mitzi. She drives the bus:

Mitzi Drives the Bus*
"Stories and songs for the long road ahead"

Link updated to reflect my storytelling website.


Nonny said...

You ARE a great storyteller. But I can sympathize with your feelings. I too had dillusions of granduer when I was younger. As the years pass, I just want to make some kind of mark. It doesn't even have to be fame or fortune. Just something that says "I was here". It's hard to make writing a priority, I've tried. Family then work seem to use up most of my time. Perhaps I'll find a balance someday.

Here's to the success of Mitzi! I can't wait to say "I knew her when..."

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Thanks, Nonny! I promise that, after the roaring success of Mitzi, I will remember all of my friends in the blogosphere, and will send for you on my private jet plane, er moped. This, of course, reminds me of an anecdote:

After Edith Wharton told her friend, Henry James, that the car she was driving was purchased from the proceeds of her last novel (The House of Mirth), James replied something to the effect of, "With the proceeds of my last novel, I bought an unpainted wheelbarrow. With the proceeds of my next novel, I hope to buy some paint for it."

Lone Star Ma said...

You go, Mitzi! It takes guts to pursue dreams and you've got them!

cloudscome said...

Yes, you are a great storyteller! Follow that dream,you will go far.