It takes about ten seconds to get overwhelmed by fear. I sit down at the computer to write and that voice of doubt sneaks in beside me questioning every word I write.
“You know, your plot is a little thin.”
“Are you trying to be romance or women’s fiction, because I don’t think you know.”
“This book is like a bad mix tape of every writing book you’ve ever read.”
“Did you come up with that line? Are you sure someone more brilliant hasn’t already said it?”
Fear is a bastard, isn’t it?
Elizabeth Gilbert says fear is supposed to save us, and it does, alot. It tells you not to get in that car, or not to walk down that street alone. The problem with fear, is it shows up with a gun, when all you’re trying to do is write a poem.
I love Elizabeth Gilbert.
We listen to fear because it does save us from a lot of bad decisions or situations. Elizabeth Gilbert then said when she sits down to write, she thanks the fear for all the times it has saved her. Then she asks it to leave because it’s time to write.
Do you let fear tell you something is dangerous when it’s not?
I do, all the time. Most of the time it shows up in my writing. Then I start to tinker with the story, because I know, just know, I didn’t do something right. It will come during a run and whisper that pain in my foot is probably an injury that will sideline me for weeks. Fear will wrap its arms around me as I parent and have me doubt the decisions I make.
The problem with fear isn’t that it exists, the problem is when I listen to it and I’m not in danger.
Today I battled pretty hard with it. I sat down to work on revisions and it showed up. It told me my main character was confused and therefore none of my story made sense.
I then spent the next twenty minutes googling how to fix a plot. I rewrote the entire structure of my novel on a scrap piece of paper and was about to hit the delete key. Until I turned around, looked fear right in the face and said, “Thank you. Thank you for showing up when I need you, but today, I got this.”
Then I started revising without hitting the delete key.
Has fear kept you from moving forward? Can you tell it to take a hike today, and fulfill your dream?