Fear, Part 2
By Deri Pryor, Graduate Assistant, Bluegrass Writers Studio
We writers are a weird lot. We walk around with entire universes in our heads. We have late night conversations with friends we’ve created out of thin air, people as real to us as any flesh and blood acquaintance. We revel in the macabre, the bizarre, the fantastic, the difficult, the impossible.
And a small part of us lives in the constant fear that if others knew what was behind our eyes they would reject us outright. How much more terrifying to immortalize those thoughts on paper, and then send it out into world for all to see?
And yet a larger part of us wants to do exactly that.
It’s crazy and no one in his or her right mind should want to do this. But here we are.
Last time I talked about fear and finishing what we start, and I referenced James Gunn’s Facebook post. One thing he talked about was the fear of the rejection of his ideas, that he would be seen as stupid. This was the man who made the world fall in love with a wise-talking, murdery raccoon and a walking tree who said a refrain of only three words (and one variation thereof) throughout the entire movie. It’s hard to imagine him afraid of anything, but understand that before there was Rocket and Groot, there were many, many other ideas that came before, most of which we’ve probably never heard of. Things he practiced on, not necessarily to bring them to light of day, but to finish what he started to build up his confidence.
You see, the Kryptonite to fear is confidence. It won’t kill the fear completely, but it will render it powerless. That might seem a simple concept, but it is oh, so hard.
And here’s another wrinkle: we can be completely confident in certain areas in our life, and have zero confidence in others. However, building up confidence in one area can spill over into others, IF we let it.
What are you good at? Can you make cool stuff? Bake a cake, build a bookcase? Are you good with animals and/or small beings of the human species? Know all the words to Bohemian Rhapsody AND can hit the high notes? Can you rock a fedora or blue eye shadow?
Never discount anything big or small that you can do as being something to be proud of. Do these things. Do them often. Show or talk about them to your friends and family. LET those people praise you for doing these things. Do not apologize or downplay yourself. You are not bragging; you are sharing, and practicing letting your strengths shine.
This is no time for false humility, people. You’ve got to embrace compliments and put them in storage for when you feel low, so you can remember the times you brought joy to others, because in the end that is what we are writing for. To give joy to the world.
I had a very good friend once who would tell me when I was in a very low point in my life, “Fake it ‘til you make it.” In fact, when I lost my ability to be an EMT anymore and was casting around, trying to figure out what to do with my life, he was the very first person to tell me be a writer. I was confused. I had always wanted to be a writer, but this was a long dead dream I shared with no one. He told me he so enjoyed my Facebook posts and notes, that I was the only reason he logged on every day and that I had knack for writing. He could tell I loved it. I was just goofing around, trying to make others laugh because I couldn’t. Little did I know, I was “practicing.” I was giving joy to others through words, sometimes very silly words, but it didn’t matter. That tiny nugget of confidence propelled me to go back to school, and start on this crazy ride. It was enough.
Find your nugget. Build on it. Believe in it. Finish the things, no matter how big or small.
Tune in next time when I talk about keeping fear away when you hit unexpected snags.
Published on September 08, 2015