Rahima's Inner Views Blog

Posts on Creativity, Writing, and the Inner Life


Meeting My Bright Shadow

OK, I have no more excuses. There’s a fantasy/sci-fi “con” (conference) practically next door, and a chance to do my very first public book reading as a part of a supportive group of women writers of sci-fi, fantasy & horror (Broad Universe). I have to sign up!

by Rahima Warren  Now I’ve done it. I signed up, and I’m living with a heavy demon of dread lurking in the pit of my stomach. These brilliant, high-powered aliens from the planet SWU (Successful Writers United) will peer down their long noses at me, roll their huge eyes, and smirk to each other. I’ll be the only tiny frog in a huge pond teeming with powerful bullfrogs. They’ll eat me alive! Worse, I’ll be a mouse in a dark corner. No one will even notice me. Why did I do this?

Too late now. I sweat over what section to read, honing it down to a five-minute piece, and practice reading it aloud until I get hoarse. I learn how important it is to make eye contact with the audience, and practice looking up from my notes.

Now it’s the day of the con. I get my hair done, dress up in my power suit, and take my fancy briefcase. I walk into the venue and stop in shock.

I’m completely over-dressed! These are not brilliant aliens or giant bullfrogs, just lovely ordinary humans, even a few shaggy ones. Like steam from a cooling locomotive, all that dread I’ve been feeling for two weeks leaks out of me.

I realize what I’ve been doing: projecting my bright shadow all over the other writers at the con. What’s a bright shadow? It’s the part of my power, brilliance and talent that I have not owned. All I can do is laugh at myself.

After all that dread and anticipation, I’m only a little nervous doby Rahima Warrening the actual reading. I even make some eye contact with the audience. Maybe next time, I’ll remember to own my bright shadow. That heavy dread demon won’t stand a chance!

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4 Responses

  • Aug 9, 2012

    Cheers for your courage and ability to laugh at yourself in the long run. You’re like your main character, coming out of the darkness to be your own bright shadow. Hadn’t heard that term before but I can relate. My strategy now for reading is to allow my excitement for my novel and my characters to take over. I am so happy to be able to show them to the world, I let that enthusiasm take over my fear of rejection. They will always love me, afterall they are my creations. Good job Rahima!

    Earlene Gleisner Aug 9, 2012
    • RWarren
      Aug 10, 2012

      Thanks, Earlene! Good advice!

      RWarren Aug 10, 2012
  • Aug 12, 2012

    How exciting. . .I am looking forward to a good read. . .The excerpt is intriguing and the topic timely. Thank you for this one. . . Beth Hedva, Ph.D.

    Beth Hedva Aug 12, 2012
  • June Maselbas
    Aug 12, 2012

    Great job Rahima making the best of the conference and owning more of your own power. Keep up the good work.
    🙂 June

    June Maselbas Aug 12, 2012

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