Yesterday my family and I went to an amusement park. In my teens, I absolutely loved roller coasters. The faster, the scarier, the better. (This period of my life also coincided with the one and only time I watched scary movies.) But now that I have tweens of my own, I’ve grown into a bit of a chicken. So, when my son wanted to go on a log ride, I hemmed and hawed about going with him.
I didn’t care about getting wet, but the long drop terrified me. But too late. My husband had already got me tickets—and if I didn’t go—my son would have to go alone. I had to do it. Fear or no fear.
When we got in the car, my son said he was a little bit excited and a little bit nervous. Me too! When we got to the top, he said, “This is cool.” After we took the gigantic plunge, I yelled, “We did it.”
What does this have to do with writing?
I can’t tell you the high I felt after coming off the ride. It wasn’t just the adrenaline rush. It was conquering my fear, doing something I was scared of.
I forget sometimes when I’m nursing my fears, whether they are about writing or about life, just what wonderful things you miss when you give into your fears.
Let's face it, writing is a roller coaster ride.
As we head into summer, there’s a lot of things I’m afraid of writing-wise.
1. I’m afraid of actually finishing my revisions and having a manuscript ready to go again. I’m equally afraid of reentering the querying game sometime this year.
2. I’m afraid I’ll never finish an R/R I'm working on. I’ve been frozen both by walking through a tough year emotionally and getting some feedback I’m still processing. I know most of my fear (and procrastination) is about worrying that I won’t get it right.
3. I have a new idea for a book that won’t let me go. It’s very personal and close to my heart and scares me to death. It’s outside of my comfort zone in every way.
As I was coming off my ride high yesterday, I couldn’t help but think of all the writing advice about not avoiding those topics or stories that frighten you.
As John Truby says in Anatomy of a Story: Write something that will change your life.
So, I know the answer to those fears. Just like a ride, you have to get in, hold on, and tell yourself you’ll make it through. And whatever happens, if you have finished what you set out to do, you scream: “I did it!”
photo credit: IMG_9314 via photopin (license)
The Insecure Writer's Support Group
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG
The awesome co-hosts for the the June 3 posting of the IWSG are M. Pax, Tracy Jo, Patricia Lynne, Rachna Chhabria, Feather Stone, and Randi Lee!