Okay, I am actually quite afraid
So I know the last time I blogged here, I proudly proclaimed I had no fear. Well. That was specific to the new publishing wilderness.
I have tons of fear. I’m full of the stuff.
A nasty farmer inside me plants festering seeds that grow with my insecurities to fertilize. What if this story sucks? What if I get rejected? If it is good, what if it’s the peak of my career and I’ll never match it? What if my writing offends someone I respect? What if I hold back from writing what I want to because I’m afraid of offending someone? What if they all find out I’m a fraud?
The fears go beyond the writing career. I’m a podcaster, and I am dreadfully embarrassed recording or filming by myself in public. This is ridiculous, of course, as logic says, “Who cares?” But fear is not logical. If it were, we’d get no rush from reading scary books.
Some days I’m confident in my fears, at least sure that other writers feel the same. Other days I’m sure I’m the only one. But I can tell you one thing; the whole “fake it till you make it” thing is completely true. People tell me I seem confident, and my thought is, “Ah HAH! Fooled you, didn’t I?” The deal is, I understand fully that confidence is a key ingredient in persistence, the moxy you need to get along when trying to make a writing career.
One thing I’m glad about is I’ve gotten over the fear of submission. I still feel trepidation and anticipation, and disappointment when the rejection comes, but the fear hurdle is tiny at best. Logic wins out in this case- you can’t build a writing career without submission, so that desire beats fear.
Recently I decided I just needed a day without fear. That I would wake up and, if I had a thought that had any note of fear or hesitation in it, I would say fuck that and go ahead with it. (I’m not saying I’m gonna jump into traffic; I still plan to be a reasonable, self-preservation-focused woman here.) Record in public? Other people think it’s weird because they wouldn’t have the moxy to do it themselves. Ask my idol to write an introduction? The worst they can say is, “No.” Start that project that I don’t have the time/funds/brainspace for? Well, even if I fail, I will likely learn something and be better off than I am now just wondering.
Seriously, all the Successories flying eagle tripe aside, it is true that fear does you more harm than most everything you’re afraid of. Sure, the reaction is set into our lizard brain to keep us from calm, created there from a time where our main threats were ANIMAL-GONNA-EATZ-ME or RIVER-GONNA-DROWNZ-ME. Neanderthals were not faced with performing a talk in front of 200 others. Well. Most of them, probably. I mean, we haven’t found evidence of a cro-magnan Toastmasters club, have we?
So I’m calling this Thursday, December 10, a day without fear. This day I will not hesitate, I will write what I want, record what I want, and see how my life can be different if I can manage to ignore fear for just one day.
Wish me luck. Join me if you like.
PS: The funny thing is, I nearly deleted this blog post, for fear of writing about such a silly topic.