Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tearing down fear

I've been thinking about fear a lot lately.

Partially, it's 'cause of the move to "the witch's hut". There's so much wrong with it, and I know it's silly, but thinking that the old electrical will catch fire or the water pipes will burst in the night, or the giant trees will crash down on the roof... I can't stop thinking about these things, even when I'm enjoying the sound of the rustling leaves and the smell of the ocean... and yes, even the overly aggressive deer.

Partially, it's 'cause I got sick. Whenever I get stressed, I get sick, and since I almost died when I was little from fevers, I get really nervous whenever I feel one coming on, even though I know it's completely irrational.

Partially it's 'cause I haven't been able to write/edit for a couple of weeks due to all the things that have to be done when moving an entire house-load of stuff to a new location. I'm afraid that when I finally have the chance to get back to it, I won't be able to re-click into the mindset I was in before this all started... the one where I finally understood a key character in Project #2.

I think fear and stress go together most of the time, and because you're dealing with two things instead of one, it makes it just all that much harder. Worry often joins in on the party and, like three fat dogs in an inflatable swimming pool, they take their toll and you end up paralyzed, unproductive and ultimately deflated.

But what's amazing about fear is how efficient you can be, and sometimes incredibly creative. Sure, it only lasts for a short burst, but it can push you to accomplish enough that your sanity is preserved for one more day.

Fight or flight.

It's a self-preservation mechanism.

Self-preservation (of varying degrees) is often a theme I write about. It's more interesting to have an underdog rise above the odds despite fear and uncertainty than it is for a hero to stride forth and gut an entire army on the battlefield. Achilles was only interesting because of his weaknesses.

When we overcome fear and press forward, we get stronger, we get smarter, we gain confidence.

So, to all those who are stressed and afraid right now, how about you make a pact with me? This week, choose something you're afraid of and face it head-on.

One of my ever-present fears is highlighting errors in my writing... so yesterday, I did something about it.  I'm going to be entry #5. I'm entering the first 250 words of Project #3, the story I realized completely sucks just last week. Anyone can comment, so check it out and do your worst.

Edit: It went live today!

What fears will you face this week?

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