I'm currently #40.
I've been thinking about fear a lot lately. Why? Because that's probably the main reason I haven't finished the three projects I'm currently working on. I started all three over a year ago. Even though I didn't get to write much last year, these stories are ever present in my mind.
December and January saw some progress. It helps that if I get stuck on one, I can work on another. It's been slow, but I'm making myself sit and do something almost every day. Some days that's only 500 words. It kills me, because when I allow myself to relax, I can get 1000 words an hour. Something's holding me back.
I read the next two chapters in Eleena's story at writer's group last week. When I finished there was a moment of silence that kind of freaked me out. Then one of the ladies simply said, "That was really good." A veritable love fest followed and that freaked me out too.
The story isn't finished! I don't really know how to close the gap from where I've stopped to the ending I have planned. What if I mess it all up?
Then I remembered a post I wrote on my family blog back in 2009, a year before I started this blog. I went and looked it up because I needed the comfort of remembering what I wrote back then. Here's a bit of it:
This quote is by Marianne Williamson from her book A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracle (also used in the movie Akeelah and the Bee and incorrectly credited to Nelson Mandela's Inauguration speech in 1994).
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
"Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.
"We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
How many times in our lives do we begin to hope for something, begin to believe that we can accomplish a goal or task that seemed unattainable, and then decide to be "realistic," convincing ourselves that we are too average to really do what we wish? We dream of making a difference in the world, of producing something that we can leave behind with our name on it, but fall prey to the whisperings of inadequacy. It is so easy to do, and we all do it in some form daily.
My insecurity is linked to the fear that this could be the best story I've ever written. Theoretically, it should be the best simply because I've worked hard to improve over the last 8 years since starting to write. I know that in my head. It's logical. However, that puts a lot of pressure to continue to grow.
What if I can't? What if this is the best I have inside of me?
Mostly, I love that I can explore and tackle any emotion or issue I may have in real life in a way that I can manipulate it and overcome the trial. You can do that in any genre, that's what writing is all about, but being as I'd get on a shuttle into space tomorrow if someone asked, I write science fiction.