Posted in Archive, Attacking the Novel, Monday Morning Musings, My Life, My Written Work

Not Letting Fear Get in the Way

There’s no such thing as living life on the edge if you have no fear in the first place.

As I head back home and proceed back into day-to-day reality again, I was reminded of why I do this again… 

As I continue my attacking the novel series this month, outlining and note-taking as much as I can, to make the next two to three months of novel writing flow as smoothly as possible, I received a great post from one of my friends the other day.

Coming from the Tosca Lee blog, an author I was previously unfamiliar with, she had some great words to say on our fear of writing. Specifically, our fear of our work not being ‘enough.’

“…And perfectionism really boils down to fear. Fear of not doing the work well enough so that it lives up to your vision of what it could or should be. But here’s the truth: no work that you ever write will fully and beautifully live up to the perfection vision of it before you get into the mucky mess of writing it. And no work will ever turn out exactly as you thought it would.”

Whether it’s with writing or with any other thing in your life, we can’t be afraid to fail sometimes. With our failures, we take a step back to examine what went wrong and learn how to go about it a better way next time. There is no such thing as perfection off the first go around. 

We put so much pressure on one another to always deliver results. Results that are polished and presentable even when they don’t need to be. So much so that it’s easy to overwork, stress out, and even just not do what needs to be done because you feel it won’t matter. What’s the point if you don’t feel that it lives up to other’s expectations right? 

The point is that we do quite a bit of living our lives according to what other’s want and not nearly enough of listening to our own inner voice. Your first objective should be making sure that you give your all in everything that you do. Make every expression, assignment, or activity the most honest ‘you’ it can be. If you are content with that effort, then you can be satisfied with the outcome. Even if it isn’t 100% of what you assumed or wanted. Not everyone is always going to be ok with our decisions. But as long as the people who matter in your life are, what else is there to worry about?

“You have my permission to take the pressure off of yourself. Go back to my #1 writing rule: write like no one will ever read this. Write it like secret stuff in your closet. Doing so removes not only the pressure, but the ego (which is intensely interested in protecting itself) and the fear.”

I know there will be a fair amount of trepidation and fear as I start that journey next month. Like NaNoWriMo, there’s something about just writing with reckless abandon that seems counter to everything I know. Not taking the time to edit, reconsider, or erase my previous thoughts. But there’s a freedom there too. 

One that I plan on tapping into as I write with no fear. 

*All block quote material belongs to Tosca Lee and is referenced to her blog. 

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