So I’m guessing you love to write. It’s probably why you’re here reading this blog. I’m also guessing there’s an element of something more that you want from your writing escapades. You are searching to complete the details of that dream.
Welcome to our common pad.
But, I also know that there is probably something you fear in all of this. You may not label it “fear” but you cushion it with words like “I don’t know how…” and so you sit comfortably there without learning and applying. For me this would refer to cover letters. Bleh. I don’t know how so I write and finish things without submitting. I’m comfortable here. Maybe all your dreams are cushioned with “One day I’ll…” this kind of wording keeps the hope alive and the rejections and sleepless nights far away.
And that fear keeps us in a bubble. You know the bubble. It keeps us from getting hurt, rejected, or finding our great success.
Whatever the case I believe every writer has a “fear” that they need to face. Maybe an established writer fears public speaking, or travelling, or talking to complete strangers (wouldn’t it be easier to write down how the interaction would go and hand them the script to your conversation?). Ok, maybe that’s a little extreme.
The key to progressing in a writers’ life is to first identify the one thing that is holding you back. What is keeping you from the next real step? Identify your “fear”. Go ahead, figure that out.
Great. I had a real life eye opener to how to get past these fears by my little guy’s nightmare. I think it can help.
End Result of the Nightmare and the Dare
He just stared at the closet. “Mom, stay in here.”
“I can’t. I have things to do,” I said. Though I sensed there was something that was keeping him up at night I knew they were just scraps of his imagination. It seemed that my night time always got gobbled up by the bedtime routines.
He clung to my arm. “Mom, what about the monsters?”
I sighed. I already knew there were no monsters in that closet but my pre-logic days reminded me of the gnarly, snarly, crocodile under my bed. So I did the logical thing and I flipped open the closet door. I jumped a little when I saw the monster mess. Yikes. “See, no monster,” I said.
He paused a little, “What about when I go to sleep?” he asked.
Ah. I could see the real problem now. The nightmares. I thought for a minute then the idea came clear to me. Psychology classes were about to take on a real life application. The section about dreams suddenly solidified… I wondered if this would really work.
“You know what? I know this little secret: Tonight when the monster comes I need you to do something for me,” I was putting full trust in my college textbook.
His eyes were suctioned to my words, not even a muscle flinched.
“… when the monster guy starts chasing you I need to turn and face him. Then do something really nice for him and he will become your friend. Ask how he’s doing or something. But, you have to turn around and look at him. Can you do that?”
He smiled and relaxed a little at the thought.
Easy enough. That went better than I thought.
But as I started to leave he still clung to me. Ah, forget my to-do list. Tonight I’ll help him off to sleep and hopefully he makes a friend tonight.
It wasn’t long before he was finally asleep.
My eyes flashed open the next morning when the sirens blared, “Mom, Mom, Mom!” he burst through my bedroom door. Emergency colored his words.
Oh no. It didn’t work.
“Mom last night a scary dinosaur was chasing me. He was gonna bite my head off,” his words were rushed.
I cringed a little, “I’m sorry babe.” But my pity was only a flitting moment.
“Guess what mom? Guess what? I turned around and gave him a hug.” A huge smile spread across his face lighting his eyes, “And hearts started popping out of his head. There were hearts, Mom.”
I shouldn’t have laughed but I did. Wow. Unexpected ending to the near death experience. And so that is his happily ever after. A tale of a boy who finds courage to face his fear and finds a power to control how this ends. Psychology is right. The end turned out much better than I expected.
So, what is your fear?
My sit down request to you is the same: There’s no real monster lurking. It’s much worse than you are imagining. And when these fears start chasing you the wrong direction just turn and face them. Then put in your best effort and this fear will become your friend. You will find a strength you didn’t know you had. Ask how others do it or something. But, you have to turn around and look at him. Apply yourself. Can you do that?”
As for now we are here helping you to the next level. But it will be your efforts that help you get that big creepy dinosaur to pop some hearts out of its head.
Even if it doesn’t turn out exactly how you imagine it, it will turn out much better than you think. How do I know? Because all wins don’t bring happiness but all efforts will bring a win. You will learn something great that will take you to the next level in your writing.
What fears are you going to face this week?
Christie Perkins is a survivor of boy humor, chemo, and faulty recipes. She loves freelance writing and is a nonfiction junkie. A couple of national magazines have paid her for her work but her biggest paycheck is her incredible family. Christie hates spiders, the dark, and Shepherd’s Pie. Bleh. Mood boosters: white daisies, playing basketball, and peanut butter M&M’s. You can find out more about her at howperkyworks.com.