Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Make It Dangerous or It's Not Worth Doing

Make it Dangerous or it's Not Worth Doing
pen, Pitt Artist Pen, Paper, 8x5"

Day 6/100 in 100 days
30 minutes :( 3hours and 56 minutes totall since beginning.

So I'm behind in my revision hours. A little over 2 hours behind my goal. Ugh. It's really a struggle to make my hours of writing time.

And it's not that I don't have time. I spend time browsing on line or reading or watching tv.

It's that....

Oh goodness gracious!


Of course it is.

And I did not plan today's drawing because of this revelation, I just had the revelation this instant. I mean, I knew there was a connection between Fear and writing/art. I also thought it was a good hint for writing a novel... to up the stakes, to offer some danger for your characters, other wise, well, it's just boring.

And I knew that it is dangerous for me to attempt this revision, to FINISH this novel, because this is what I really want, what I have always wanted and that means the stakes are terribly high for me to make a success of it. But what if I can't do it? What if I give up and never finish. Even worse, what if I do write my novel and finish my drafts and it SUCKS. What if I am not as good in reality as I am in my head?

I don't think it is ever as good in reality as it is in our imagination, in art or in life... and that's because there is always possibility, there is always freedom, there is always the concept of perfect in our dreams, but reality puts everything on the line.

Once we put something down on paper (metaphorically or literally) we are stuck with what we've done, who we are, and the choices we make. We have to let them live their own lives, be their own thing and they are evidence of who we really are inside. Not dreams, reality. Not potential. Evidence. Not perfect... imperfect.

Oh I am afraid of finishing my novel. Of not being good enough. Of putting my money where my mouth is and having it be quite a few bucks short of the price of admission.

So I use my normal excuses to avoid writing. Too busy. Too tired. No time. My brain is not working well today. Can't focus. I must be coming down with something because my head hurts. I need to clean my desk/make dinner/pack boxes/draw an inspirational quote. My favorite show is coming down and I won't have enough time before it. Oh it's too late now I'm too tired it's bedtime forget writing tonight. It's too hard.

But in the past, when I have uprooted those excuses and sat down to work, they have almost always evaporated into the creative work and the words. I have frequently discovered, past bedtime, that if I take my laptop to bed, I can whip out an hour of work and find my mind zooming through problems I thought I was too tired to hack. Or if I commit to only 15 minutes, I end up going for one hour, two hours. Sometimes just 15 minutes, but the words come and they add up.

What's the lesson here?

Follow the fear.

The fear tells you where there is danger. The danger tells you where there is something to lose. When there is something to lose, there is also something to gain.

When I'm scared of something lately, when I realize that it is FEAR holding me back, that is when I have to make the commitment to tackle it.

Because I want those dreams. These high stakes are the fulfillment of everything I have been working towards my whole life. This is dangerous because this is really, really



Michelle | When I Grow Up Coach said...

I've come to slowly realize, Rowena, that fear should be embraced because it's always the thing worth doing. No need to make it dramatic or super scary (I write this so my husband doesn't make me go on an upside-down roller coaster), but if you know there's a benefit in the end result then love that fear & keep on going.

Genie Sea said...

I am cheering you on! And I have every faith you will climb on those high stakes triumphantly and paint it too! :)

Lisa said...

I absolutely LOVE this and completely agree! I'm right there with you on the excuses, but like Genie Sea said...I'm cheering you on. The drawing is Great - display it and encourage yourself. You have a lot of us out here fighting that fear with you....let's all keep trying together. :)

Jan said...

Great post! I want to argue, though: I think "follow your fear" is not quite right. "Listen to your fear," perhaps. But don't follow it, else you will write nothing. "Learn the source of your fear," absolutely. But don't follow it. That makes the fear the leader and you (me) the follower. We don't need to, don't have to, be there. We can lead the way out of it.

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