A couple weeks ago I joined a group of debut writers for 2015. It was great to see how many newly blossoming writers are coming into the ring this year! But it was also very intimidating. There are a lot of shiny new, talented writers out there. A whole crowd of them. And I’m just little ol’ me.
They needed info for their “Author Page”, asking for what I fear/don’t fear. I sat there, pondering, unable to come up with something I could be afraid of on paper. It was surprisingly tough to produce words. Not because I’m Supergirl and fear nothing, not by any means. I just don’t like admitting that I’m afraid of anything. Sometimes, even to myself.
But then I realized, I was afraid of telling people I was afraid.
So, I put: fear of failure.
I’ve realized about myself lately that I am a person who is afraid to fail; to try with everything in me to succeed, to be my best at something, only to discover that my best fell short. It’s humiliating and discouraging. And never more looming in my mind than right now as a publishing company puts out the dough to set my work in front of the world. What if it’s not good? What if my work doesn’t reach reader expectation? What if my book is bashed on Goodreads!? *gasp*
The truth is, in the scheme of life this is not a major failure. If my books bomb, will my life mean nothing? As I said before, I am a mother. Of four (!) amazing (!!!!) humans. I am immeasurably blessed in my spouse. I battled the beast that is Cancer and came out on the other side.
The truth of it is, my fear of failure right now is a luxury. I have already faced seemingly insurmountable fears. Fears I’ve had for a greater part of my adulthood. I have faced miscarriage. I have faced losing a home. I have faced cancer personally. I also had to watch my father-in-law pass from cancer. I watched both my grandmother’s fall to its sting. And I sat as a child, holding my father’s hand, while he received chemo treatment. I watched him, my best friend, my strong daddy, suffer but survive (much to the doctor’s shock), only to be forced this last summer to watch him fade over a matter of months and be stolen from us all by the same beast that tried to take him in my youth. Those were things to fear. To be terrorized by. And it wasn’t by any means simple or easy to claw my way through those experiences, emotionally, physically, spiritually.
The reality is, I still face the loss of perfect health and a perfect father every day.
So, what the hell am I really worried about?
My answer should be: nothing. Because it’s become frivolous in the face of my past to watch my future and do anything but smile. I have one, first of all. I had a father that loved me and I was able to have him in my life, was able to give him joy in his grandkids. I have a husband that has sat with me and cried over the loss of our child, the loss of my hair, the loss of my beauty as I puffed up from steroids. He paid for countless writing classes, cheering me on for the last decade, telling me in the face of rejection after rejection that I can do this writing thing, believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself.
I am, was, always have been surrounded by love. I am immeasurably blessed.
Fear can kiss my ass.
When you ponder your own fears, remember what you’ve made it through until this point. Life’s pain hasn’t beaten you into submission yet, has it? Don’t let the fear of this world, of the future, swallow the light of blessing that might be right in front of you.