Fellow blogger and friend of The Wordslinger, Emily Wilson of My Pajama Days, recently introduced me to a website community of writers called WriteOnEdge. The website was created for writers to come together, give and receive feedback on their work, and improve their writing through regularly posted prompts. Emily has been participating in these prompts for quite some time and I’m always impressed with her posts so I decided to check it out.
What I found were some incredibly talented writers and some wonderful, creativity-inducing prompts. As I am always looking to improve on my own writing skills, especially with the start of my novel looming, I decided I would try my hand at this week’s prompt. Thanks Emily!
This week’s memoir prompt comes from a quote from the incredible Stephen King. In his book, “On Writing”, he says, “The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.” The prompt is to write a true, first-person account inspired by this quote. The word limit for the prompt is 300. Let’s go!
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My hands gripped the wheel tight as I sat in the parking lot taking one deep breath after another. I reached up and adjusted the mirror so as to assess my appearance from the neck up. Nervously, I fidgeted with the knot in my tie trying desperately to achieve symmetry with the collar.
“Jesus, that looks like crap.” I whispered to myself as I adjusted the Windsor one last time.
It had been nearly nine months since the last time I sat in my car about to start the work day. Nine months of job hunting, filing unemployment papers, and wondering when the nightmare would end. Nine months of interviews, second interviews, and heart-breaking rejections. But all that was over now. The monkey was officially off my back and from the moment I received that long-awaited phone call, I had been walking on air. Yet here I sat, beads of sweat emerging just below my hair-line as I felt my heart beat like a kick drum.
“You’ll be fine.” I said calmly to myself. “They hired you for a reason. You can do this job, and do it well.”
Having questioned myself and my professional abilities for three-quarters of a year, I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised at the jittery feeling that had come over me. Like an unwelcome house guest, my nerves had arrived without warning and were showing no signs of leaving. I took another deep breath and looked down at the picture of my wife and daughter that was about to find a home on my new desk. I smiled and the grip on my steering wheel began to loosen. “You can do this.” I repeated to myself; then I opened the car door and finally headed back to work.