Congratulations to Krithika Rangarajan for Winning the January 2015 Barefoot Writing Challenge! (Your $100 prize is on its way!)
The Challenge was to write an essay that answered this question:
Instead of a New Year’s Resolution, pick one word you’d like to guide your actions in 2015. Then write an essay on why you picked that word, and how it will help move your writing career forward.
Enjoy Krithika’s vivid description of her journey toward courage and her lifelong love of writing…
Dial C for Courage
By Krithika Rangarajan (Kit)
I haven’t called my best friend in over five years. Why? Because I have a phobia of telephonic conversations.
I haven’t driven on my own to new towns. Why? Because I am scared of getting lost in strange places.
I ignored my desire to become a full-time writer for 30 years. Why? Because I was afraid to stomp out societal conventions.
These are just a few examples of the fears and self-limiting beliefs that have prevented me from experiencing life to the fullest.
But not anymore.
If I wish to weave a fulfilling future of my choice, it’s imperative that I begin cutting these condescending cords.
To this end, my guiding word for 2015 is courage.
I wish to challenge my restrictive thoughts, stretch my comfort zone, and establish habits of excellence — all of which requires oodles of mettle. A dauntless mindset is especially vital in order to resist long-instilled beliefs about the absurdity of becoming a full-time writer.
Growing up in India, I heard variations of the following:
“Writing is not a career. It is a hobby.”
This ‘advice’ was well-intentioned, because writing is not a financially rewarding or socially respected profession in my native country, and every parent wants their child to experience the best of (and in) life.
If you were ‘smart enough’ to achieve good grades, you were ‘supposed’ to become an engineer, doctor, or (maybe) an architect. The remaining careers were reserved for those ‘poor losers’ who weren’t good at cramming and scoring big on tests.
Hence, although I spent my entire childhood with my nose buried in open books, I never whetted my passion for words. Instead of challenging such narrow-mindedness, I was content with conforming to social stereotypes.
Thankfully, my calling found a way to reunite with me.
When an eating disorder curtailed my previous profession, I was presented with a wonderful opportunity to weave the life of MY dreams by doing what I LOVE: writing.
In February 2014, I finally acquired the moxie to declare myself a writer.
Since then, I have written almost every day. I enjoy helping my online acquaintances with their blogging requests, participating in blogging challenges, and interacting with like-minded professionals who ‘get’ my compulsion to put pen to paper.
As a freelance writer, I want to expand my knowledge, enhance my skills, and empower my audience to fashion their desired lifestyle. In addition, I want to interact with the delightful diversity of life by traveling to unique places and sharing my adventures with fellow wander lusters.
My ambitions cannot, however, be accomplished without a courageous attitude. It’s time for me to become a more powerful writer by daring my fears to a duel of wits and wills!
And, this time, I plan to win!