“Forward:” it’s a Little House on the Prarie sort of word, isn’t it? A word from the days of long skirts and corsets and hair done up with pins. Forward is a woman who presumes too much. Who insinuates herself into unwelcome company.
Or, worse, forward is a shameless, wayward woman. A woman transgressing. A woman crossing boundaries of politeness and decorum and goodness.
I’m trying to acquire an agent, a publishing contract. It is harder than acquiring the measles (though like the measles, it makes you horribly uncomfortable.) Like every hopeful writer, I have to hustle. I steel myself to ask and seek and knock.
To wit: yesterday I wrote an email to a (very mere) acquaintance that has published a book. I asked if he could give me names of potential contacts.
Look, I hesitate to ask friends over to my house. When I’m offering to feed them for free. Asking favors of people I don’t know well? I feel queasy.
In the email to the very mere acquaintance, I said, “At the risk of seeming forward …” as I asked for the favor. I liked the anachronistic ring of it, and also it was the most honest thing I could think to say to him.
Give me a hoopskirt to hide behind, and I would feel much safer. Give me some rules like velvet ropes to constrain me and I could let go of my dreams like helium balloons with a little sigh of relief. Decorum would let me off the hook of bravery.
Instead, balloons clutched in my hand, I am wading out into battle. Battle with my ego and a long habit of hiding. Battle with the lie of self-sufficiency. Battle with decorum and inoffensiveness. Battle with fear…
At the risk of seeming forward, I think you should join me over at SheLoves Magazine to read more of this post. Let’s do this.