This week, in honor of the release of Elana Johnson's sophomore book SURRENDER, she is hosting a blogfest where the participants talk about a time when we didn't surrender. And, as if that wasn't enough, I'm also over at the writer's dojo writing about a different experience.
I started playing the piano when I was four. My grandma taught me my first lesson, and when my mom saw what had been started, she continued it.
I practiced every day until I was 16 when my confidence got shaken. You see, there is a high school competition called solo and ensemble, where people first qualify at the school level, then region and then state. There were probably a dozen pianists within two years at my school who were all on level, but I made it to region. I had my piece down.
At region, I got reamed. Completely ripped a new one. And as writers, we are all aware that some critiques are not going to be kind, but this guy slammed me. I was just sixteen.
I seriously thought about quitting the piano. I cried and cried, and I'm not really an emotional person. I looked at the piano and tears welled up every single time.
But then I started missing the piano. I missed making music. I missed the feeling of the ivory under my fingers.
So I went back. And then, in a stroke of stubbornness, I decided that just that one person wasn't going to take away something from me, something I was really good at.
A year and a half later, I entered a pageant competition pretty confidant I could win one of the talent competitions and that would $100 for textbooks at college. And I won the whole thing.
Over the course of the next two years, I won talent competitions, learned the ropes at Miss Utah, was an attendant, won another local competition, won the talent at the preliminary night at Miss Utah and was a top ten talent finalist as well.
Playing the piano paid for most of my college education.
I'm planning on utilizing these skills again *when* my book comes out (whichever one it is) because if we let one person govern what passions we pursue, what will we become?
When have you showed power over those who would bring you down?