Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Facing Fears

A few years back I wrote a picture book manuscript about how an adult New Year’s celebration might look to a child. I was thinking about pre-school age kiddos. I called it HAVE NO FEAR, IT’S A NEW YEAR.
 I had in mind the raucous grown-ups’ celebrations juxtaposed with the childish sense that the world as we know it is about to change when the clocks strike midnight, and the ball literally drops at Times Square.
It is a story about facing the unknown, the new, and facing our fears.
The other day a writer wrote on a chat-board- “Every time I sit down to write, I'm scared.” 
How true. I can’t think of a time when I sat down to my daily session and that voice in the back of me didn't whisper, “maybe you can’t do it anymore.”
And then I do it anyway. I begin, continue, and end the session triumphant. I face my fear that I wouldn't, and I do. Write.
The story, all six hundred words of it, still sits in the drawer. My critique group made helpful suggestions, and I noted which resonated strongly with me. Then I wondered if I could do the story justice, and put it away. For later. Much later.
Maybe I can’t.
Maybe I will.
It’s a New Year!


  1. Thank you, Mirka. I'm agonizing over a novel I've been working on and picking every bit apart. It's a new year!

  2. Yes, it's a new year. I'm determined it will be a better one than the last. Great reminder.

  3. I'm always scared too, but then I'm afraid of everything. It's what drives me, the thrill of overcoming a fear. Only not at first, at first I'm cowering in the corner, it's only afterward when I feel the thrill. When I open a manuscript, it's terrifying and I'm usually in bed under the covers. BTW the premise of your story sounds wonderful-- I think you should go back to it!

  4. I'm certainly feeling this way right now as I slog through a particularly difficult draft. But yes, it's a new year!

  5. Happy New Year, dear friend. You sit down and you write and the results are wonderful. Thank you for pushing past your fear, so the rest of us can enjoy the story.

  6. I think writing and fear go hand-in-hand. Sometimes though, putting aside a project for a while is exactly what it needs ... to become the book it is meant to be.

    Happy New Year!

  7. Yep, every day I must face that fear. What do I think I'm doing?! Yet, I can try. Happy writing, Mirka. Looking forward to reading your new story this week.

  8. great post. I often think that same thing... What if the words just stop. What if I can't do this anymore. But in some way things always manage to fall into place. Even when life manages to get in the way.

    Happy New Year! And may your 2015 be filled with awesome and words, lots and lots of words.

  9. Amen Sister! May 2015 bring you gentleness and wondrous writing with results that lessen your fears!

  10. Love this timely blog on fear! Why does it ring so true for writers? Probably because what we're working on is putting ourselves out there. It's super scary sometimes, but also a lesson in bravery. Because really, what is bravery without a fear to be overcome?

    Random deep thought for the new year. :)

  11. Great post! I love that quote. I think there's a little bit of fear each time I write, but especially when I start a new project. But if it were easy, it wouldn't be so satisfying.
    Happy 2015!

  12. Have a great year ahead, Mirka. My doubts and anxiety reside in my tummy permanently. Was just revising a short story when a voice piped, "What if this is rubbish?" Still, we plough on and hope it isn't.