Something amazing happened today.  Sara Fryd asked for my name in response to a comment I left on her blog.  It is the first time this has happened, and quite frankly, it scared the hell out of me.

When I decided to start a blog, I knew there was no way possible for me to disclose my real name. I had never shared anything I wrote, other than a few poems with family. (In fact, prior to blogging, I had written just a few poems, and they are included in the early posts on this site.)  Putting my name on my words was the equivalent of committing ego suicide—after all, I am no writer, just a wannabe. Yes, on my “about” page I invite critiques, good and bad, but the truth of the matter is that a negative comment would have crippled me. It would have been the final nail in my coffin of self-doubt I had constructed over the years.  But I had to write, it was just eating at me for so long that I had to start putting words out there, or risk what felt like a brewing spontaneous combustion in my gut. So I became Calliopespen, and in choosing that name not only did I hide my identity but I also subconsciously took no credit for anything written—after all, I’m just a scribe for a Muse that visits every writer.  Totally safe.  Anonymous.

Since blogging here I have met the most talented writers, prolific and filled with the spirit of generosity.  Not a day goes by that I am not immensely and immeasurable grateful for being a part of such a wonderful community. It has been a life-changing experience for me.  And today, because of an ordinary question, I recognized the fact that I have been a coward amongst the brave, and a deluded one at that. I can hide behind a penname, but that gossamer veil of anonymity I have wrapped around myself will not stop an arrow from piercing my heart—it only makes it harder for me to embrace people.  I thought of the many writers I respect and realized that the vast majority of them have one thing I don’t—a name and a story.

I’m not sure if it’s because I no longer fear criticism the way I used to because I’ve been the fortunate recipient of praise, or if it’s because I have grown and matured since letting my words flow…but whatever the reason, I don’t want to be Ms. Anonymous. I want a name, and I want a story. I want to jump into this ocean of talent and not just get my feet wet standing safely on the shore. I want to take credit for my successes and failures. I don’t want to be a coward.

My name is Danielle Cross. I live near the Atlantic Coast in the Northeast US. I am 38 years old, a wife and a mother of two beautiful girls who are growing up entirely too fast. I am a Talent Acquisition Consultant by profession. I want to be able to call myself a writer but I can’t seem to utter those words in relation to myself.   I have never been published, but it has been my lifelong dream to write a book.  Someday, with the help and encouragement of wonderful people like you, I will.

I realize this sounds completely self-indulgent and probably a bit silly to people who have not suffered from the same fear of failure that has plagued me. I actually hope that most people reading this will not be able to relate because it is such an awful feeling.

Sara, thank you for asking me who I am.  I am quite sure you didn’t realize the power behind your words. They liberated me. It’s Independence Day. 🙂

I have the “blahs” today. It’s rainy and cool and my motivation is reflecting the dreary weather. My muse is nowhere to be found, and I’m tired of looking for her.

When I feel like this it always helps me to spread a little joy to others. It inevitably makes me feel better.  My strategy today includes visiting new blogs and leaving comments. It always makes me feel good to get a comment, so I’m thinking it will make others smile as well.

I challenge you to spread a little happiness too. If you find a great blog, leave a comment below to direct us there…we’ll all be smiling 🙂

 

I took a wrong turn today

Down a new road.

No–not wrong, really—

Just different, and not new,

Really—just new for me.

Clearly others have taken this turn for ages.

It has all of the familiar markings of a road

Well traveled. I suppose I was feeling

A bit adventurous, maybe? Or maybe,

A bit hopeless?  I’m not sure, sometimes

They are one and the same feeling.

Or maybe it was just that

I knew at some point I would need to find

Another school I was told is down this road

Because my daughters will go there

Eventually. I guess it doesn’t matter

How or why I got there.  Anyway,

It was a good turn because it made me

Realize my world really isn’t

So big and complicated

And home is closer than I thought.