Month: May 2013

The Weight Of Fear

climb-that-like-a-tree-tank.american-apparel-unisex-tank.athletic-grey.w760h760I surround myself with sayings painted on paper and canvas, reminding me to be brave, take chances, embrace new possibilities, screw what others think.

I meditate, exercise, live in the moment. I keep a post-it note stuck to my bedside lamp, reminding me to make good art.

I run with the wolves, journey along the road less traveled, and never, ever, let anyone move my cheese.

But I live with fear.

Not the run-like-the-wind-before-the-grizzly-claws-your-right-ass-cheek-into-hamburger kind of fear, but a fear that would make anyone from a third-world country desperately want to smack the living shit out of me.

It’s the spoiled-rotten, narcissistic type of fear.

Fear of creating something that is redundant.

Fear of imperfection.

Fear of getting messy.

Fear of things that might happen five years from now if my work gets published.

I even allow good things to send me into a spiral of dread. The offer from a noted writer and professor, who’s offered to line-edit my work. Interest from a highly respected (and successful) book agent.

Just a wee bit of insanity, that.

But I’m learning. I don’t get paralyzed by it as often as I used to.

I’m working on not using food to stuff my creative energy back down my throat. I can step on the bathroom scale after a period of “dread eating” and say “So, this is how much fear weighs.” And I’ve decided that carrying the burden of excess poundage is much harder work than writing five hundred words.

When I’ve desperately wanted to lie down and take a three-hour nap, I’ve made bargains with myself to write just one sentence. That’s all, no more. And it’s funny how the second, and third, and fourth sentences are usually waiting right behind the first.

That fear is ridiculous goes without saying, but it’s real nonetheless.  I’m thinking that you might have some fear in your life, too.

What is your fear? How much does it weigh? What tools do you use that help?

For now, I’ll keep forging head with my newest mantra: Lighten Up, Francis.

A Rare, Very Good Day

rare_drink1This has been one of those rare, very good days.

A big storm moved in from the west and has hung on all day, which means there was nothing to do but write. Got some revision work done and did a wee bit of work on the next chapter. Not too many words, but I got over the hump of dread that comes with starting a new scene.

Then I found out that I am the winner of a signed copy of Evan Roskos‘ new book, Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets. Thanks to Evan and Matthew Quick for choosing me. You can read their open, honest, and insightful interview here.

Finally, I took a bravery pill and asked my current online teacher if he would consider taking me on as a student/client for line editing of my first draft once the class ends.  I’d figured he’d say no, as he’s busy as an author and Dean of Humanities for a state university. He wrote right back and said yes.

This was such a good day. I just wanted to write it down to remind me they exist the next time I spend the day staring at a blank screen.