Sunday, August 22, 2010
Now then. What have we actually done about it?
If the answer is, "I have followed all your advice except for the parts where I had an idea about how to do it better," then you're doing just fine.
If the answer is somewhat less than that, the question is, "Why?" We want to sell our novel, right?
Well, therein lies the problem. It's one that I've talked about before. I've even addressed it in the blogs leading up to this one.
It's the big bugaboo. It's the boogeyman under the bed. It's the opposite of true connected creativity.
It's what will stop us if we let it.
Fear comes up in many ways and has many, many guises. Sometimes it's even difficult to identify it as fear. But it always comes with certain markers.
If we're looking in instead of out, we're afraid. That means arrogance as well as insecurity. Both are a direct result of fear.
If we're comparing ourselves to others, either to berate ourselves or build ourselves up, we're afraid. Informing ourselves about what others are doing is one thing, determining our talent based on what someone else has done is just silly.
If we're defensive or dismissive when others give us critiques, we're afraid. Either they have a point, or they may not, but getting angry or ignoring them is letting go of what may be a brilliant fix for a problem we haven't yet identified.
If we find ourselves stiff, using a lot of declarative sentences, running over past conversations in our heads in front of an imaginary jury... guess what?... we're afraid.
And that fear does nothing for us but hold us back from the artists we want to be. We will not ever be as successful as we could be at promoting our own work. Our future creative work will suffer. Our personal lives will have more strife that we would like.
Basically, fear sucks.
So what can we do about it?
The things that I've found help invariably have to do with getting out of my own head and connecting with others. Mentor a troubled teen. Volunteer at a homeless shelter. Read to the elderly.
Basically, do something kind for someone else.
It's not that hard. It will make us feel good. Oh, and one more thing. Our creative work will improve.
Not so bad, right? :)