Abandoning Fear

I have come to the realization, once again, that in order for me to grow I have to let go of things. I’ve had the phrase ‘God hates a coward’ running through my head for the past week or so. Deadlines abound, wild creativity pushing my imagination, inspiring people and being inspired by the people of my life… I should be churning out the fiction by the steampowered wheelbarrow, on an hourly basis.

But I’m not.

Its not even a large fear that I have which is holding me back. Its the little death, the abandoned idea, the ‘It’s probably been done before’ which is stopping the creative flow. The ‘my work pales in comparison to other writers’. It really does suck… And the inevitable, I hate the ending, I hate that one sentence, that one little flaw in the design. And its those little hates (which are just a byproduct of fear) which are holding me back.

I’ve also read recently, that to become elegant at something, a person needs to devote 10’000 hours doing something. I’ve easily done that for customer service, and if I had stuck to my writing back when I was 13, I’d easily be into 10’000 hours. Well here I am in my mid thirties, starting out again, chipping off the layers of rust, oiling out the gears… you see where this analogy is going.

Last night I finished off draft four of a short story I’ve been working on for the past month or so. The third draft was very spotty and looked like little clips of a much larger novel… But it won’t become that. A short story must remain short, much the same way a huge stein of beer will never be a small glass of wine. Mainly the last rewrite was to change the opening, which I thought was elegant and poetic. But I had a first reader inform me that she “stubbed my eyes on the first paragraph, and it hurt.” I need that kind of honesty, brutal and open. It makes me write hard, and exercise my creativity.

So, bear with me as I give up those little fears. Embracing the bravery and freedom. Writing for the Art of it, not for fortune. Its going to be messy. Not all of it can shine. Some of it will amuse, some will confuse… and with time, I will improve. If I don’t, I’m at least going to have a good time doing it. And I thank all of you who have got me here.

I’m still here,



  1. I’ve got a great little sign in my office. It says, “What would you attempt to do if you could not fail?”

    You can’t fail with writing. You can only find ways to improve and seek out new mentors, new examples, and new readers. So…

    Attempt. You can not fail.

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