Embrace the fear

The other day, or rather night, I had a moment that I thought I would share with you. It’s very easy to look upon people who live in the public eye and believe they must be the most confident, fearless people on the planet. I know that’s something that people have always believed about me.

Either I’m assumed to be extremely confident, or well . . . a bitch.

I can’t remember what set it off exactly. I was in the midst of reading some material about authors, reading a book, and studying grammar and writing. Somewhere in there, in the midst of the evening hours, I remember reading a random sentence and then I was struck with this “oh my god, millions of people around the world may one day know my name, and read my books,” realization.

I understand that it’s an obvious thought. I write, I publish, people will see the books. I will receive the attention. But I don’t know. I was just hit with the realization that sometimes occurs in the most random of moments. And the truth? I wasn’t just scared. I felt petrified.

Then the thoughts began rolling. I can’t do this. I’m not good enough. They’ll hate my work. Oh my god what am I DOING? The thoughts went off the deep end into solid dark deep fear. Anyone who has ever placed themselves in this sort of position will know exactly the type of moment I experienced.

What’s truly interesting is that I’ve been at this a few years. I’m always thinking in the back of my mind about all the people who will read my books or I wouldn’t work so hard to improve my writing and grammar. I am always conscious of just what I’m facing, what’s involved, and the future aspects. I am far too self aware not to.

So that idea wasn’t really a surprising one and yet . . . it was. I felt the cold depth of fear hit me. For an instant.

Then . . . I went right back to writing and editing. My day went on.

I still fear what may come. But as Anne Rice mentioned in her video I watched on YouTube the other day. Every single one of her books has received someone mentioning that it’s the worst writing they have ever read, that she doesn’t know how to write, you name it. And even Stephen King has faced it.

So even the most confident seeming among us face those fears. The difference between you pursuing that dream and the others who aren’t? It isn’t that fear that may sweep you up and tumble you end over end. It’s not that you keep facing the fear. It’s simply that you keep going. No matter what you say to yourself, someone else says to you: keep. going.

That’s it.

Just keep going. Fear and all.

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