Worry is a way to pretend that you have knowledge or control over what you don’t.” ~ Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost
A few weeks ago I told you about the conversation jar my son brought home from school, and told you I’d be asking and answering some of those questions here. So, without further ado:
This week I pulled a rather “easy” question from the conversation jar: Would you rather dive off a high cliff into the ocean or do a book report in front of 500 kids?
In my current, adult, know-it-all state, I would choose the book report without thinking twice. I’m a bookworm, and always have been. But as a kid?
Continue reading “How Control Creates Fear”
Some of you probably know that I spent the 30 days of November writing 50,000 words on my next novel—that’s about 200 pages…basically an entire book. It was a challenge for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).
Writing with that kind of speed is NOT how I normally write. I’ve always been a little like Ernest Hemingway—reading over what I’d written and editing that before moving forward bit by bit every day.
I thought going for speed might be a good exercise. Help me learn new skills. Stretch me. You know, make me better.
And it might do that yet. But at the moment, with everything that was going on in my family, I wonder if the story I started was worth it.
Every novelist knows that there are points along the way where you hate what you’ve written. But I fear this is different.
Did I push myself into a place I wasn’t called to go? And now I’m overwhelmed in the quicksand that is my book. I’ve too many elements, perhaps not enough research.
I feel as if I didn’t give myself the space to do it right. Sure, I can go back and fix it… maybe.
If this character hadn’t been haunting me for 5 years, I might give up. But the more I think on it, the more I think my fear of the character has everything to do with why I veered off in a direction I hadn’t intended on.
Isn’t that like life?
The things we fear most are often the things we’re called to do.
So today, I will again tackle the book. Reworking, rewriting, replotting.
I will look straight into fear and walk into it, if for no other reason than most fear runs when it encounters confidence.
I will hunt fear today and invite you to do the same.
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I sat on the edge of my son’s bed, hands shaking, stomach roiling at the thought of what I had to do. String thread through my fingers, a loop hung in the middle.
His eyes were wide, tears brimming. It had to be done and there was no one else to do it.
The only reason my son sat still as I reached into his mouth, was because he trusted that I loved him . . . and it was, after all, only a tooth that needed to be pulled. Continue reading “Trust, Sweat, and Tears”