Fear makes my heart stutter and my brain screams stop. Hope makes me smile and dream. I flip-flop between these two minute to minute. Determination keeps my fingers moving. That’s what happens when you let your dreams be bigger than your fears.
My Soul to Keep launches in six days. At times I can hardly believe it. This novel has been years in the making. Why did it take so long? Fear. Many different fears.
The danger warnings I have gotten have varied. One danger was that I had exposed too much of my personal life. Another was that I would be ridiculed. Or I would be put on the spot about beliefs espoused in my book. Sometimes the fear was about real situations in my life that had nothing to do with my writing but scared me nonetheless.
Sometimes the fear drove me away from the work. There were days I didn’t even turn on the computer. More than once I discovered I had walked away from my desk, without conscious thought. I’d return and find my computer on, a sentence half-written. Fear had stopped me again.
When the fear was bigger than my dream, the fear turned me into a ghost. Diminished to less than what I could be. Ghost me drifted through the day reinforcing how I wasn’t worthy, I couldn’t do it anyway, I should just give up.
Determination Can Help You
I didn’t give up. My determination was stronger. My dream came back every time, bigger, stronger. I learned the things I needed to learn. I wrote reams and reams of words that I’d cut and throw away. For a while, fear tried to tell me that the rewriting and throwing away were signs of my fear. Some days that may have been true. Most days it wasn’t. Learning takes practice.
Six days away from publication fear visits me again. It whispers, “No one cares. It’ll be a flop. You’ll fail. Failure will cause you too much pain.”
I acknowledged my fear.
Yes, I’m terrified but I am determined to try.
I am letting some of my self and my past bleed onto the page. But my characters are not me. My readers have their own pain and past to deal with. I hope I can help them.
Ridicule may hurt. But it is more about the person who is casting the ridicule than about me.
It may be awkward and unsettling for me to be put on the spot, but I will feel sorry for that person who put me there. He has more fear than I.
The scary life situations are scary. If my fear stops me for a time, that’s okay. I’m human. I will sit at the computer another day.
What is failure? I have learned and grown and gotten through to the end despite all that fear has thrown at me. That’s success.
Taking the Power Back
Somewhere along the way, I learned that there’s a difference between feeling fear, acting on fear, and succumbing to fear. I learned to love the me who sits at the computer lost in a world of words. My power is in my dream, my determination.
No matter how scared I am, I’m also exhilarated.
The ebook version of My Soul to Keep is on pre-order on Amazon and Kobo. It’s coming to iTunes and Google Play soon. There will be a paperback version as well. No, fear isn’t the issue—technology is challenging me but it won’t overcome my determination. *smile*
Let Your Dreams Be Bigger Than Your Fears
Fear won’t stop my next book either.
I hope this helps if you are being held back by fear. Face your fears. But feed your dream. Let your dream be bigger than your fear. You’ll be glad you did.