Dirty words: Fear isn’t one of them

 

Fear 2Blogging has been an incredibly eye-opening experience and good for my confidence. I don’t know how many people are reading what I write whether it be the blog, my romance novel or my poetry books but I’m not fazed. If you want something you have to be prepared to be in it for the long haul. Long hauls allow for bumps along the road and bumps are realistic. We just need to keep them in perspective. I admit to having doubtful moments but my poetry books, the total opposite to the romance series keeps me grounded. Poetry allows the doubts to sprout wings through words, words that put the fears at a distance.

One of the interesting things to come out of blogging is the understanding that recycling is a good idea. Strangely enough from someone who has haunted second-hand venues in what seems forever I have only now accepted that re-using previous material can be a bonus. Over time we gain new perspectives and passing them on I think is a good thing, or I hope so.

Owl dominos Lim Lin

www.unsplash.com Lim Lin

I found this post about fear the other day and thought to myself that it is just vintage enough for me to play with and come up with a new look because the topic is still very current. Fear is insidious and not just for writers. We all have our demons but if we accept this then the domino effect is limited. You know what I mean, one small mishap tears at our confidence and a rolling effect takes over and the small becomes bigger and bigger.

In the face of so much accomplished through hard won positivity, the knowledge gained along the way from other bloggers and writers, and the support of so many people it might seem odd to still retain that fear, but I do. Not because I haven’t written the best-seller but because what I do matters to me. I couldn’t help wondering how many of you out there feel the same.

How influenced, controlled, directed, or lead by fear are you? Does it fuel you forwards or leak you backwards? These are vital questions because they determine the quality of the outcome. Mareo McCracken advises us to treat fear as a tool, a tool he calls WISE (ironically perhaps?), and one he would have us manipulate. WISE the tool, in an acronym form, is a mighty weapon of absolute common sense.

W: Welcome the Fear

I: Interrogate the Fear

S: Separate the Fear

E: Employ the Fear

Remember the saying – keep your friends close but your enemies closer. Fear is our enemy. When you welcome fear you get to know it, to understand the unpredictability of its striking power, and understand the triggers. You can question and interrogate until you are armed with enough information to be able to separate the fear into small chunks and eat the elephant one bite at a time. We can effectively Feel the Fear and do it Anyway. Remember the book by Susan Jeffers. In it she talks about turning fear and indecision into confidence and action. I love that book.

Feel the fear book

A writer’s greatest fear is the review, either the lack of or the type of. Don’t get me wrong. I have no problems with the idea of reviews or criticism. No matter the specific art, a genuine need for outside input exists. However, the dependency on feedback is debilitating. It requires discipline to stand back because underlying, waiting to bite us, is the pain of hearing we didn’t quite make the grade. All that time invested, and we still failed. I remind myself that it is all part of the process, and more importantly that opinions are subjective.

A few years ago, I went to see a play based on Wuthering Heights and had my heart broken. On stage Cathy became a shrill witch and a Heathcliff, a creature totally devoid of personality. Where was that wild, confused, and too often perverse love these two characters have exuded for well over two centuries? I was bewildered and left at interval not having the stamina to see something I have long loved misrepresented by words and the delivery of them. But that was my opinion and though I value my thoughts I need to remember other people have different ideas (reviews said they didn’t disagree, and yes, I high-fived myself).

I remember feeling the same way about the film The Thorn Birds.  I know full well that a script can’t contain every aspect of the plot. Time constraints, setting, events can all be difficult to include. But there is no excuse for losing the essence of the story, and both times that is exactly what happened. And once again, I remind myself of the word subjective.

The simple truth is there will be those that like my work and those that don’t. What really matters is that I continue writing so that there is something for someone to be subjective about, and that can’t happen unless I keep fear in perspective. When I forget, there is always the WISE tool to get me back on track.

Fear 1

What do you fear? How do you handle it? I’d love to know.

 

Till next time,

Barb

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4 Comments

  1. Fear used to rule me. I was hoping to please very reader out there. This is one of the surest ways to write terribly.

    I still catch myself writing in a fearful mode, second guessing myself and pandering to this or that imaginary reader.

    The trick is to be mindful of it and snap out of it. I will have to try the WISE method too. Excellent post!

    P.S. Wuthering Heights is one of my favorite books too. I can relate to how you felt when you saw it bastardized!

  2. I tried to establish if my fear is reasonable. in other wards is it keeping me from physical harm. For example, a fear of fire can be healthy. If the fear is reasonable I listen, if it’s fear of the unknown or pushing my limits then I push myself past it.

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