Monday, March 5, 2012

GOALS: Exploring Fear of Failure

Several of my resolutions for 2012 focused on writing more this year - writing more frequently, writing more intentionally, creating a better balance in my life to allow for more writing... and so one would think I have been scrawling away with my pen or tapping away on my laptop. But no. I have to admit as of March 1 an epic fail. I allowed myself to be over-committed at the office. I frittered away writing time with excuses and laziness. One would almost think I didn't want to write!

Hmmm....  "one would almost think I didn't want to write"... perhaps a more honest take on that would be "perhaps I am afraid to write?"  I am finding myself locked down - overflowing with ideas and words on the subway that I scrawl onto scraps with an eye pencil...and then completely empty when I sit at my desk to write. I find myself making excuses for why I don;t have the time...or why a subject would be off-limits (or stupid, or boring, or....) to write on. After all, who wants to read my ramblings?

Sounds like fear, no?

So I am facing fear head-on.

The first step was spending several hours over this weekend with some writing exercises that helped me to rediscover why I am writing, and who I am writing for (a sneaky way to the writer to figure out who *she* is). I imagine my magical ideal reader as an intelligent and curious woman who is interested in creating a new sort of life balance - one in which nature and domestic comforts and spirituality are more important that the rampant commercialism our culture worships. She loves to cook, to garden, to make where she is more beautiful (to her, not to a glossy). She is curious about nature, about art, about books, about living simply with what God has provided.

What is she afraid of? That is the next series of exercises...hmmm... fear of failure is top of the list. Fear of being vulnerable and honest. Fear of rejection and ridicule.... sound more like I am writing about myself yet?

One way of addressing these fears is to just not write. Not be vulnerable, not to share the good and the bad, to just hide it all away and pack up the writing gear. I've been down that road before - and it isn't a pleasant one, just safe and boring and rather sad.
 
And so I sit here at laptop and continue to type away, word after word, in a war with myself to push through the fear and add my voice to the conversation.

How do *you* work your way through fear of failure?