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Sucker punched by my own advice…

If you wish to shine a spotlight on your own weaknesses, try giving your child advice.

That is exactly what happened to me not long ago, while I was spewing motherly guidance at my daughter about having confidence in her vocal abilities for an upcoming audition. My words to her were basically, “If you can’t be confident in your abilities, you’ll never make it.”

The words traveled from my lips, bounced off my daughter and slapped me square in the face.

Yep, I got sucker punched by my own advice.

You see, for the most part, I am a confident person. Not the “Hey! Give me a medal! I’m awesome!” type of confident. Those people annoy me.

I am, however, fairly comfortable with who I am and the decisions I make.

Yet, for some reason, I have a difficult time having confidence in my writing, which really sucks, because writing is what I love to do – what I want to do – what I’ve wanted to do my entire life.

Yet, when I receive compliments, I shy away from them. When people compliment me and want to discuss my writing, I give the expected response of “Thank you,” and then look for the quickest escape route from the conversation, usually in the form of some mood-killing sarcastic comment.

While this has not been a new reaction, it has been more noticeable since releasing Finding Evelyn. Since then, I’ve had people try to talk me into holding a book signing, do a reading and even plan to ambush me with a secret book discussion, which ended up not being a secret anymore. And I know my acerbic responses to these moments undoubtedly appeared as if I was unappreciative and uninterested. But the honest truth is, the thought of those moments terrify me.

To admit that I am afraid is more difficult for me than saying I am a good writer.  (Unless we are talking about spiders. Those little freaky creatures scare me.) But the thought of sitting in a room, or worse on a stage, talking about my writing makes me physically ill.

And if my daughter told me all this, my answer would be, “Suck it up. Get over it. And do what you have to do if you really want to do this.”

Sucker punch.

So, from this point on, it’s time to stop being afraid. It’s time to be a role model for my daughter and not a mouthpiece spewing empty advice.

So, here it is. I am a good writer. Maybe not great. Maybe not groundbreaking. But the bookshelves are full of published books by good writers and I am a good writer. One with a severe comma placement problem, but a good writer all the same.

Now, let the marketing plan begin.

And yes. I know. Finish the second book!

So what moments did you find yourself sucker punched by your own advice? Comment below!

Michelle Leigh Miller is a freelance writer, independent journalist and independent author living in Southeastern Ohio. Follow her journey on Facebook and Instagram.

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