On Fear

We have to do it“Why is it that the thing we want to do most in the world, the thing we dream about fervently and study religiously, is the same thing we would rather die than attempt?”

I wrote this in an email to a friend last night. She and I have been working on screenplays together, but the majority of our time together (in person and via email) is spent avoiding writing. We lament our lack of creativity and skill, but compose long works on the desolate wastelands of our souls. Neither of us lack skill. We have both won awards for our writing. We study constantly. What we lack is courage. For us, the option is to Write or Die. Most of the time, death seems the better choice.

In The War of Art, Steven Pressfield writes, “The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” He calls this feeling Resistance. I am familiar with this feeling. I feel it right now. I want to write this blog post. I do. But I’m afraid. This fear tells me that I have to write this post, then I have to click Publish and let it out into the world.

What is your dream? What is the thing that both tantalizes and terrifies you at the same time? What would happen if you sat down *right now* and worked on it? Get out your camera, or those art supplies, or that pen, and be courageous. Then leave me a comment and let me know how you conquered your fear. Thanks for reading!

3 thoughts on “On Fear

  1. Wow. Good for you! You faced your fear.

    My biggest fear is being a bestselling author. I could totally live with being a midlist nobody, but I’m terrified of having a bestseller.

    What that boils down to is: when my book was just good, I sent it out. I showed it to agents. I talked it up. Then I rewrote it. Now it’s much stronger, and I haven’t shown it to anybody.

    1. I hear you – being a bestselling anything sounds terrifying. What if I wrote a great screenplay and had to walk the red carpet? No thanks! 😉

      I’m glad to know you’ve already set a date for yourself when you *will* show off your book. You’re a fantastic writer!

  2. It’s wonderful that you’re so passionate about writing, and that you’re facing the fear. I really can’t remember the last time I felt that way about anything. I think my dreams must be in deep hibernation, just not ready to wake up right now. 😉

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