I used to take voice lessons. Working for a few years between high school and college, I had been looking for something new to do. I have always liked to sing, I enjoy performing and I can carry a tune, so it seemed like a good fit. It turned out that the lessons were fun, but the practicing wasn’t, so I never went beyond the realm of teacher recitals.
At the recitals, I would get to meet my teacher’s other students, who ranged in age from 14 to 65. The younger ones were mostly on track to become college voice majors, the elder folk pursuing unfulfilled dreams.
These recitals took place every six months. The teenagers came and went, but the older crowd stayed pretty much the same. Two that always stood out were an aging Irish tenor with stage fright, and a nun with thick red hair and glasses, who had a non-nun identical twin that came to hear her Sister sing.
The nun was my ace in the hole. Although when I was at home in the shower, I secretly felt that I could blow them all away with my wonderful voice, my main (and much more realistic) concern at the recital was of not being the worst. I had a theory that no one would remember my potentially lame performance if someone else’s was less pleasing. The problem in determining that was that it is very hard to judge how you sound when you are the one singing. Listening to the others, I was never positive that any of them was worse than I until the nun took the stage. A sour note always sticks out, and she had those aplenty.
Writing is like singing in the shower. Privately I think I’m decent, but when I am online and see what other pre-published authors are writing, I am never sure how mine compares. Everyone thinks that theirs is good. Some of them are right, but what about me?
I have seen published works that I know are worse than my stuff, and that gives me hope. I may not be the best, but I certainly am not the worst. I also have a new theory: If you like to write, do it, but don’t give up your day job until it sells.