My first post on this site was about fear.
I wrote it because I began this blog to overcome the fear of failure. I wanted to overcome the fear of trying something new.
I wanted to overcome the fear that life would go by as I sat in my comfortable box and I would never be stretched or challenged.
But in doing this 31 day challenge, a new fear whispers in my ear.
“Maybe you’re not cut out to be a writer.”
As I read updates from other writers in our group who pump out at least 500 words a day and often up to 1,500–I’m intimidated and impressed. Some say they’re done in as little as 15-30 minutes.
That’s not me. I sit and plod along. I’m slow at forming ideas. I think too much.
That’s when the fear and self-doubt creep in.
I doubt my ideas.
I question my ability.
I fear there’s something wrong with me. Other writers accomplish their dreams and I desire to follow, but fear says, “That’s not for you.”
Okay, I tell myself. So you’re slow. So 500 words aren’t being spit out in 15 minutes. The short stories I have written took ‘forever’. I find it difficult to turn off the inner editor and free write.
I will keep writing. Writing is like a muscle, the more I use it the stronger it will get.
Some words are better than no words. The few words I write each day move me farther and farther away from zero in the word count. And the farther away from zero I get, the closer I get to being able to reach my goal.
There are two choices in dealing with fear:
1. Give into it and let it rule you.
2. Acknowledge that it’s there, but keep moving forward anyway.
If I give into it and stay where it’s comfortable, nothing will happen.
I like comfortable. It’s cozy, predictable, and safe. But I don’t like the end results of comfortable. Unmet goals. Drifting through life. Another year gone and nothing accomplished.
I think of the person who comes home everyday from work, plops in their comfy recliner for a night of TV. Hour after hour. Night after night. All those nights add up to years. Yeah, those evenings spent in the recliner were comfy.
But along with comfy is a little blandness.
That’s what fear does. It keeps us vanilla. It keeps us from achieving our potential.
If I give in to the fear, the fear will control my action, or lack of action. If I believe that fear says I’m not a real writer, then I won’t write. I won’t take chances and I’ll end up sitting in my recliner, being comfy.
If I acknowledge the fear exists, but challenge it, I will write. I will try. Others may read my words and say I suck which will make fear say, “See, I told you so.”
But I’m willing to take the chance. Putting myself ‘out there’ does open me up to criticism, but that comes with the territory of challenging fear.
So fear, I know you’re there, but I won’t let you control my actions. In the end, I will win.