In my last post, I talked briefly about my history with writing, the praise I got for it early on that made me shy away, and the joy I found when doing it later on. For the second part of this blog post, I want to talk about the fears that I associate with writing and my plans going forward.
When I take a look back at my motivations, I think one of the reasons that I stopped writing was quite simply fear. Fear of failure. What if what I wrote was terrible? What if no one liked it? What if it’s not as clever or funny as I think it is? Or worse yet… what if no one ever reads it?!
Wait… so if no one else ever reads it, then why would I not write it? Logically, I could write anything I want without fear of people not liking it if no one ever reads it. Right? Hmm… what a concept. Too bad I didn’t think that way 15-20 years ago!
The other side of that coin is the fear of success. Yes, that’s right. The fear of success is a real thing for me. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a pretty simple and easy-going fellow. I like my routine. I like my simple, quiet life. If I were to become successful with my writing, how would that change my nice little life? Does it become more complicated? Can I still have the freedom and luxury that I have now? Or does the demand of success take over my life? Can I live up to the expectations of people who’ve read my work? Can I write something as good as the last thing I wrote? Oh the stress!!!
But as I mentioned previously, fear can be a good indicator in your life; it can point you to where you need to go. It is through facing our fear that we grow and expand our capacities. If you never challenge yourself, put yourself outside of that comfort zone, then you’ll never get better.
So now it’s time for me to put some emphasis on doing activities that bring me joy. Activities like writing. I’ve had a couple of idea for stories that have been floating around in my mind for a few years now; one of which I’ve already started writing, but got stuck. Maybe this is a good starting place to just start writing again. Don’t write to become a famous writer. Don’t write to change people’s lives or to create the greatest story the world has ever seen. Just write for pleasure. Write to let the story come to life. I just need to get out of my own way and put in the time and effort. What have I got to lose?
I need to treat this like any other habit that I want to build. First, make a routine out of it. Start in small chunks of time that gradually increase until it becomes part of your daily/weekly routine. If I don’t make it a priority, I won’t do it. It’s time to knuckle down and go. Maybe I’ll even be brave enough to share something with you. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.