I promised last week to write about deadlines.
I don’t want to write about deadlines. I spent the last two months working toward two deadlines: an application for a project I would love to do and a fiction contest.
And I’m scared.
I’m scared the people reading my submissions will laugh. I’m scared they might like what I wrote so even more people will read my work and they might laugh. (See how, either way, fear finds a way to keep me wrapped up?)
I keep thinking of all the things I should have done differently and how I should have done them differently.
A part of me regrets throwing myself out there. That’s the part, of course, that looks like the skinny guy wearing glasses in the movie Inside Out with Amy Poehler playing Joy and the sincere blue Sadness who ends up saving the day.
Fear is the skinny guy. I’m learning to let him ride along with me, but he can make things like sending submissions so uncomfortable I feel like biting off my tongue.
And he’s still there now, telling me everything I did wrong or might do wrong and trying to make me regret reaching high, so he can keep me safe from my next harebrained idea.
But, truthfully, he’s a part of the fun, too. He gives me the jolt I used to love when I thought I couldn’t die and rode upside down roller coasters or jumped onto zip lines.
I know the thrill of fear drives my son’s girlfriend to watch horror flicks with a grin on her face. I can’t relate to her on this but I see how fear is a part of her joy.
He’s also a part of what pushed me forward for those months, churning out hours of writing time I could have sworn I did not have.
Here’s the secret fear doesn’t know:
Fear ends up defeating his purpose and making me feel more alive than when I don’t dare to do anything interesting. I’ll put up with his shenanigans for a bit of the zing he has to offer.
Meanwhile, I’m resting a bit and playing with paints this week. I do like to take breaks from fear and exhilaration now and again. More on that next week.
Ash the Distraction is sitting in front of my inspiration reminding me that he can mess it all up at any time. No questions asked.
May you know the delightful thrill of fear in a life fully lived-
A recycled bit on the wonder series:
As a part of my 2016 blog revision, I started a new small weekly post I call ‘Wednesday Wonders.’
I love the way writing and other art forms open my eyes to the surprises around me in my everyday life. Many of these wonders will also be in my Instagram account since I discovered the joy of that program during an advent photo project.
I collect these surprises like little rocks in a kid’s pocket. I may use them in a story. I may not. Either way, life gets a little brighter when I take the time to notice.