FEAR

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.

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12 responses

31 05 2014
FEAR | Beth Lapin's A to Z Blog 2014

[…] Since 2009, I have written three novels (one  published in 2012) and a short story. Then, I decided to take last summer off. What has kept me from returning to writing? Check out my blog: FEAR. […]

31 05 2014
Ellen Bernstein

Thank you Beth for sharing. I will read this over and over as I know it talks to me. You are an amazing woman and I feel blessed to have watched your journey and be able to call you a friend. Distant friends maybe, but our childhood experiences join us in a loving way!

31 05 2014
Beth Lapin

Ellen, Many of those childhood connections are the strongest. Your birthday, phone number — forever etched into my brain! Thank you for taking the time to comment — it means a lot to be heard.

31 05 2014
Michelle McKenzie-Voigt

Hi, Beth – beautifully put. I usually think of myself as fearless, but after reading your words, I felt a resonance. I know I will spend some time pondering this.

31 05 2014
Beth Lapin

Michelle,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’d love to hear what you discover. Beth

31 05 2014
Susan Scott

An excellent post thank you Beth. Thankfully fear in this/your instance has jumpstarted you. As you say you feel your centre has been regained! This can be the value of fear when you look it in the eye … May the rain drops continue to sparkle on this pines and urge you to keep penning.
Garden of Eden Blog

31 05 2014
Beth Lapin

Susan, I do hope that’s true. It’s so difficult to retain that connection to my center at times…. sigh. Beth

31 05 2014
Susan Scott

sorry, computer got away with me … ‘this pines’ should have read ‘those pines’.

2 06 2014
Robb Evans

I loved your first book “To Say Goodbye” and was hoping to be able to read your next book soon. I want to hear what you wrote about the Romani family. I hope you can find a way to get it published that is more helpful than your first “publisher”.

Your brain is full of good stories. Let them out by putting your typing fingers on the keyboard.

17 06 2014
Beth Lapin

Robb,

Thank you so much! I am working on it, editing and hoping to publish soon.

28 03 2015
Catherine Ahern

Hi Beth, I just signed up for your blog, thank you for sending me the information. Fear is resonating a great deal for me right now. The home that my deceased partner and i built is on the market and I think that I have a buyer. While I should be rejoicing as it is way too big and expensive for me alone to maintain, however I am feeling sadness and a sense of loss, as we built the house 20 years ago, it holds many memories of course, good ones, and then the sad times during Jill’s illness and after. I am fortunate that I can move into a family condo that is empty temporarily. The thought of moving on scares me but I also know that it can be fresh start. A conflicting time right now. I look forward to the April appreciation blog.

Cathy

31 03 2015
Beth Lapin

Cathy,
I understand your fear, of change, loss, and uncertainty related to your move. It is Spring and a time for rebirth and renewal, so I think your timing is perfect.
Beth

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