Monday, February 6, 2012

"Fear" is My Bad Child in the Attic Whom I Love!

We all feel at times as if we just "blew it." Whether it's on a date, in an important conversation, at work, on a test, an interview, and I definitely feel it when I'm writing a new book. Not just after the first draft, which Hemingway said is always shit.  But I feel like "I blew it" even after several drafts!  My mind whirls with thoughts like "I'm losing this story" and "this is so boring" and, of course, the ever present niggling doubt, "who will want to read this?" But while these fears circle inside like some inner galactic experience, I've realized that the journey of my writing is only made sweeter by them. According to Wikipedia, "Fear is a distressing negative sensation induced by a perceived threat. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat of danger. In short, fear is the ability to recognize danger leading to an urge to confront it or flee from it (the fight or flight response)."

Basically, without any fear we would be zombies walking through the world, just doing the same thing over and over and not aiming to reach our potential. So, heck, I embrace my fears, I love them, they're mine!  Like bad children you wish you could send to the attic (jk, Jared!)  But you keep them around anyway.  I face my fears every day by keeping on writing. Pushing through.  This is the "fight" part. Although I must admit, the "flight" response attracts me especially in the middle of the night when Expedia sends emails of 50% off flights to the Caribbean with pics of warm beaches and cold margaritas. I stay strong. I glare at my laptop. I listen to my character's playlist. I keep plucking away on the keyboard hoping that as I fight the fear that "I'm blowing it" some universal creative magic will flow down, wrap me in a silver cocoon and float me softly to the other side.  That never happens, by the way.  But what does, is I finish another draft.  And it is always better than the last one. It always is!!  So, that's what you aim for. Finishing your book, your painting, your poem, your designs, your rap, or dance or film. Finish it, start a new one, and finish that too. Your only real fear is the danger of not being YOU!
St. Luc, Switzerland

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