A true villain.
In 2017 it seems that fear is no longer helpful. We fear change, technology, immigrants, big cars, little cars, guns, strangers, kids, adults, pollution, cancer. I could go on for a while. Watch the news. It’s a fear mongering machine. CNN, Fox, MSNBC, all of it by design sells fear. We are fearful creatures who need to evolve. There is no true value to be as afraid as we are — it no longer serves us as a species. In fact, I think it’s harming us.
I’m here writing to you because I was afraid.
Four years ago, I came out of my cave and started writing a novel. I hid it from people for about a year and worked on it in the wee hours of the night when no one was awake. I was afraid. Fear kept me from doing what I truly wanted to do because I was afraid not to make money, afraid to look stupid, afraid to fail — the list goes on. Fear held me back for a long time. I should be in the prime of my career, not starting a new one. However, I’m not grumpy when I get home and my kids love my stories (the ones I tell them are PG-13 at their worst). I read The War of Art about seven years ago. I let it marinate for three years, reread it a few times and finally pushed the fear aside and got to work. Four years later, the fear still creeps up on me but I catch it, usually after a day or two.
The momentum has brought me to this place. I’m on my fourth rewrite, I started a blog and I’m submitting short stories to publications. I get rejected, oh yes. Not one of my stories lives out there, unless you count the college literary journal that no one has ever read. Monetary success is not on the table, yet.
I’m not saying do what I did. I have my own journey. I’m saying don’t be so afraid. And if you aren’t afraid, you have a leg up.
The fear mongers: CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc., didn’t win. I’m not buying. I tuned them out when I started to get serious. Sometimes I don’t even know what is going on in the world, but I’m also less afraid.