31 05 2014

Sunshine on rain washed pines 05.31.14 03Since 2009, I have written three novels (one  published in 2012) and a short story. Then, I decided to take last summer off. After all, I love the beach and it was only a few months. In September, I said I’d start writing in October and, before I knew it, it was 2014 and I still wasn’t writing. The April A to Z Blog Challenge came along, and I signed up again, after swearing I wouldn’t, with the hopes it would jumpstart me.

April came and went. I did the blog, which was fun and interesting. I made a plan for when and how to publish book two and three, with April and May goals, and I’ve done nothing towards that. So, earlier this week, I met with Jen Eifrig to get her suggestions. A powerhouse from my first writing group, she’s ruthless.

“If you want to write, there is only one thing to do.”
I look at her expectantly.
“Write,” she said, totally serious.
There was silence. She continued, “You know why you aren’t writing?”
“Oh, yes, first it was summer, then I had a new relationship, and now my daughter just had a baby, I–”
Jen put up her hand to stop me. “No, those are just excuses. You know the real reason?”
I shook my head.
“Fear.” Her eyes peered into mine. “Fear of rejection, of not being good enough, of making a mistake.” She paused. “Fear. It’s all fear.”
I shook my head. “I don’t buy into that.”
In her typical Jen way, she nodded. “It’s all fear.”

For the past few years, fear has been a stranger to me. I have walked onto limbs that shouldn’t bear my weight, both literally and figuratively. I’ve started cutting-edge careers and passions, and I’ve worked with new people and fresh concepts. I’ve charted innovative territory for me and I’ve loved where it’s taken me. I thought I had put fear behind me.

But here I sit, a few days after this conversation with Jen and I am thinking about fear. And, as usual, Jen’s right. I don’t believe writing-based fear has stopped me. But I have experienced fear recently and I wonder if it’s spread to my view of the world in general.

My daughter just had a baby in April and, in the last few weeks of her pregnancy, I felt fear. I sensed those nagging “what if” nibbling at my elbows and heart. What if the baby isn’t healthy? What if something happens to my daughter? She is the most precious person in my life and I can’t imagine being without her. As you might guess, all went well and we have a vibrant new human being in our family.

Last summer, I started a new relationship, one with immense potential and great challenge. I’ve learned a lot during these ten months, especially about myself. I’ve discovered that my spiritual growth sometimes takes the back seat to my reactionary self. I’ve found that my basic core traits remain annoyingly the same, despite my self-awareness and alleged transformation. And I have experienced fear: fear of failure, and fear of instigating and perpetuating chaos and drama.

Could fear from those situations have trickled into my writing? I am thinking so. And, Jen, here I am writing about it, thank you! I am finding my center, trusting my self, regaining my authenticity, and loving the stunning beauty of rain water coating the pines sparkling in the sun this morning.

Reflections on 2014 A to Z Blog

9 05 2014

April is over and blogging is done. Please check out my Reflections on 2014 A to Z Blog. Now back to writing!!