October 8, 2020 SHOULD I KEEP HIDING MY HIDDEN TALENT? Dear Nikki,Music is my FAVORITE THING in the world! I love Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, and tons of other singer-songwriters. I want to write music and share it with the world someday!! But, when I sang one of my songs in Choir class last year, other kids laughed and just stared at me! I was SO embarrassed that I didn’t sing at all for the rest of class, and singing just hasn’t been the same for me ever since. I want to be a singer more than anything, but maybe I stink and just don’t know it! What should I do???Secret Singer And Songwriter Hi Secret Singer And Songwriter, I have SO BEEN THERE! It’s a super weird feeling to have so much fun doing something you love, but also wonder what people think about you! When I started to get really into art and drawing, I went back-and-forth between wanting to keep it a big secret and wanting to share it with EVERYONE!! (Okay, I wanted to share it with everyone EXCEPT MacKenzie, who always tries to ruin everything! Grrrr!!) And when I first sang in my band Actually, I’m Not Really Sure Yet (check that drama out in Dork Diaries 3: Tales from a Not-So-Talented Pop Star), I was feeling that same combination of nervous and excited. When we were about to go on stage, I felt like I was having a panic attack! I was like, “WHAT AM I DOING??? IF I MESS UP, MY LIFE WILL BE OVER!!!” Sharing your talents with people can be scary, because the truth is… no matter how good you are at something, not everyone will like your work (whether it’s drawing, singing, writing, dancing or whatever). It’s up to YOU to believe in yourself and your talents enough to shut out all the haters or any doubts that creep in! EVERYBODY questions themselves sometimes, whether they’re MEGA-talented, or just getting started. Even the most famous singers still get embarrassed when they miss a note or dance move during a performance. All of your singer-songwriter heroes have gone through plenty of rejection and heartache to get where they are today. But they didn’t give up, and neither should you. I mean, what if Beyoncé had given up after losing to another performer on Star Search (TRUE STORY)?! The world would be missing out on some cool songs and fantastic dance moves, that’s what ☺!! If you have songs inside you, write them down! Sing them out! Maybe in a place where you feel more comfortable than you did in choir class. Someplace where you feel supported. Bottom line, I’ve got some advice for you: Take chances when it comes to your dreams. Reach out! Does your school put on any musicals? Does your community have children’s choirs? Are there any songwriting contests online for talented young musicians like you? Maybe have a parent, guardian or trusted teacher look into that sort of thing for you! There are probably SO many kids with dreams just like yours, and it would be great to be around people who share your passion!Work REALLY hard on anything that you believe in! Being good at anything takes hard work, no matter what you’re doing. If you have a big goal but want to skip the hard work (and the setbacks or rejections that might come along the way), maybe it’s not your true passion. You’ll be much more confident and relaxed if you KNOW that you’ve put in all of that hard work!! Okay, readers, your time to chime in—have you ever had a talent that you were too shy to reveal because you were worried about what other people think of you? If you did show your talent, what happened? Tell us all about it in the comments!