Monday, October 22, 2012

Getting past fear

This is my new sock monkey. He has nothing to do with my post today; I just think we could all use a cute, baby sock monkey sometimes.

I’m moving a little slow this morning. My arms and legs are aching, I’m still nursing a pulled shoulder muscle. And my abs are reminding me that I should probably make it to workout class more often.

So why am I whining aching today? I had a step test over the weekend. In taekwondo, you take a series of mini tests as you prepare for your next black belt degree. This wasn’t my first test (not even close), but I still went through the same freak out process: feeling confident until the date the test application was due. A bundle of nerves the week before and downright panic on the day of the test. “What am I doing? I can’t do this?! I’m not good enough! I’ll never be good enough!” 

Sound familiar?

I don’t know about you, but I go through the same thing before I start a new writing project. That shiny new idea seems so wonderful. It’s going to be the best story EVER. But then I start panicking as I begin committing words to paper. Half way through, my confidence has caught the midnight train to Georgia and left me wondering “What am I doing? I’ll never be good enough to pull this off!” 

Pushing through fear is a big part of writing a book. It takes nerves of steel. You gotta look that opponent - you know, the one in the mirror - and let him or her know you’re doing this, no matter what. And you’ve got to trust your training (all those words you’ve already written and all those conferences you’ve attended or critiques you’ve asked for). And you need to trust your instincts - that little voice telling you that you *can* do this, that you are meant to do this. 

When you’re done, you might be aching and you might have pulled a muscle or two, but I bet you’ve also done a few things well and discovered one or two things you still need to work on. 

And you’ll be another step closer to your goal. 

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