"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Frank Herbert, Dune
Why does fear stop us so often? Fear talks us out of opportunities before we ever give them a try. Fear drives us to give up before we've given ourselves a chance to succeed. Fear keeps us from even trying.
I started this blog a few weeks ago as a way to kick start my writings. I've let ideas bounce around in my head for years and I felt it was time to start getting them out onto the page. Yet even after starting I'm finding myself terrified to keep going.
Last Friday I posted the first section of a short story. The idea was commit to the story and get the idea out of my brain and onto the page. I knew going into the project that I couldn't expect perfection, that it may very wall crash and burn but I wanted it to be an exercise in writing, in getting the story out of me. Yet even knowing all of that I find myself frozen, the little demon in my head telling me to give up.
I've written three parts of what will likely be six or seven. I'm happy with all three. I'm even giving myself a weekly publishing schedule to allow time for editing and revisions. Yet somehow, when I sat down to write tonight the voice in my head kept telling me it was pointless. I opened Word ready to type but I was frozen. My fingers wouldn't move, the words wouldn't come. I was convincing myself it was a pointless venture. No one would care. Everyone would hate it.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
I'm not writing to get published. I'm not trying to become rich and famous. I just want to create something, to get these stories out of my head. Maybe someone will find them interesting, maybe not. What does it matter? No one is going to think different of me if I post some garbage sci-story. The worst thing that could happen is I create something that no one reads. How is that a bad thing? Yet a very large portion of my brain is actively trying to convince me it is.
So tonight, instead of working on part four I'm ranting here, attempting to exorcise the demons. I will let the fear pass over me and through me and when it is gone, only I will remain.
Maybe then I can get back to work.