Thursday, June 14, 2012

Talking to da Fear - Woo-Woo Stuff and Getting the Book Out!

Years. I wasted years of trying to write by attempting to face my fear and to overcome my fear of writing a book. Fear fought back with a vengeance and won almost each and every time. It's a wonder I ever got any writing out of my head and onto paper or into a file.

Author Cathy Yardley introduced me to the concept of meeting and talking to my fear. (Please visit the The Fluent Self blog for a detailed description.)

Okay, I have to admit that talking to my fear as if it were someone was a little woo-woo out there for me; however, in choosing to do so, I'm now able to get these darn books out of my head. Bottom line, the process worked, so who cares if it's woo-woo or out there or both. Who knew? (Well, Cathy did and the folks at The Fluent Self did, so I am eternally grateful that they chose to share that knowledge.)

Since my fear involves writing, I wrote a conversation between my fear and me. (Once I got past the woo-woo factor, the process actually made sense.)

Understanding that my fear is a part of me and that it's doing its darndest to protect me helped me to realize that attacking the fear was like attacking myself. My goal was to work with the fear, not against the fear. (Novel concept, huh?)

My written conversation with my fear went something like this:

Kathy: "Fear, what exactly are you afraid of?"

Kathy's Fear: "I'm afraid of letting go. If I let go, people will judge you and you'll get hurt. If you step outside your comfort zone, you'll get sick, get hurt, get in trouble, be out of control, look stupid, won't be good enough, make a fool out of yourself, etc. These are the things I'm trying to protect you from."

Kathy: "What will happen if I write?"

Kathy's Fear: "If you write, you will expose yourself to scrutiny and to failure. If you write, you will reveal secrets that are best left buried. You'll feel things better not experienced. Secrets are to be kept, feelings are NOT to be felt."

Kathy: "When secrets are revealed, the revelation robs the secrets of their power, then I will no longer be caught in the web secrets create. I know you're trying to help me and take care of me, but what if I give myself permission to write crap and that for the first draft, I don't have to be good? What if I focus on writing scene by scene? What if I only allow myself to feel, one scene at a time?"

Kathy's Fear: "I'm not so sure about this, but as long as we discuss what you're doing along the way, I'm willing to give it a try."

This "woo-woo" approach worked for me. Like gangbusters. Like nothing else has thus far. Instead of working against me, for the first time in my life, my fear and I are working together toward the same goal. Such a simple, yet life changing approach.

As I go along, I'm sure Fear and I will sit down and have further conversations and negotiations.

So, why not give it a try? What if it actually is that simple? Talk to da fear and get that book out!


Janie said...

You go Girlfriend!

Kathy said...

Thanks, Janie! I suspect this is going to be quite the adventure.