Thursday, 27 February 2014

No warning sign, no alibi...

So. We meet again, Bloggy McBlog Blog. I know I have been incredibly slack the last month, what with my total of ZERO posts in the last four weeks (though in my [exceptionally weak] defence, I did write at least one post, but it never made it off my pretty pretty triad-shaped USB stick). I know it’s awful. I know it’s completely counter-intuitive. I mean how do I expect to become a professional writer if I don’t actually, you know, write?? I’m ashamed to admit this, but this month I have written a grand total of 2785 words. All. Month. That’s disgusting. I can write so much more than that – I HAVE written so much more than that in the past. I could write that in a couple of hours if I tried hard enough. So what’s changed? What’s stopping me from writing at the moment? I wouldn’t call it “writer’s block”. I’m not starved for ideas. The problem is actually putting those ideas onto paper and turning them into something tangible. That’s where I’m falling down, which is weird, because I’ve never had a problem doing that before. Writing as always been as natural to me as breathing. It is part of who I am. But now…? I feel as though that part of me has been taken and locked away in some unreachable box. I feel like I’m working when I sit down to write, which has never happened before. I don’t like it, and it scares me. But the good news is I think I’ve finally figured out why.

Fear.

 
I’ve written about fear before. I written about it a few times, actually. I’ve talked about how it can make you think you can’t do something, or it can convince you not to try. I’ve also talked about how it can even convince you that everything you want out of life is unattainable and impossible, and really you’re an idiot for even trying so you may as well just crawl into your bed and read the books written by people who are better than you at everything because you SUCK.

Yeah. My brain is such a fun place to be.

The thing is, though, I didn’t even realise that the thing holding me back this past month was fear. It’s a sneaky thing, that fear, and it can manifest itself in so many different ways. See I’ve made some big decisions recently (one of which is to stop querying HEAT for the time being, but that’s a topic for another post) and I actually thought I was being productive by plotting and planning and researching good writing techniques and the other million things I was doing instead of writing. It gave me the illusion of moving forward, yet I was making zero progress. There is nothing wrong with the things I was doing – they are all good, useful things – but I was just using them as an avoidance strategy. It’s like when I was at school and procrastinating doing one assignment by starting on another. That was all well and good for the assignment I was working on, but sooner or later I had to come back to the one I was avoiding, and chances were that one was due first. Like I said, it’s a sneaky thing, that fear. It can get you even when you don’t realise it.


So now that I am aware of the problem, the question becomes: What exactly am I going to do about it? You know what they say: there’s a HUGE difference between being aware of your issues and actually addressing your issues. Clearly I’ve been aware of my fear for a long time now, and yet I’m still unwittingly allowing it to control me. If you had asked me how I was going to overcome that a few days ago, I would have said I didn’t know.

But.

Thank God for Jared Leto.

This. This is how I’m going to overcome it. I’ll let him explain*.

 
You have to make friends with [the things that threaten to stop you from following your dreams], because that’s never going to leave you. It’s called fear, ultimately, sometimes doubt, and it can be a great friend or it can be a terrible enemy. But it’s always there. It’s a part of your body; it’s an appendage, so you have to somehow make peace with it. You have to breathe it out; you have to make peace with the fact that it’s never going to leave you no matter how hard you work or how many pills you take. You can’t kill it. It’s there. But I find it’s also a great motivator. Fear is that thing that gets you to keep moving forward…It pushes you to find that place that you need inside yourself to get it done. It’s a good thing. I think it can be a good friend to you. I think that we put a negative connotation on certain things because they’re uncomfortable, but we shouldn’t. Fear should be as warm and fuzzy a word as love. But for some reason it’s not, and those two rub up against each other almost all the time. The thing that you love the most in your life is the thing that causes you the most doubt and fear, right? It happens all the time…Those things work in harmony with one another, and it’s not such a bad thing. I think it’s just a perspective change. A perception shift. And the ability to harness that [fear] and really use it. I have doubt all the time, but I keep walking forward NO MATTER WHAT. Some days you don’t want to. Some days you want to make bad choices. That’s what fear can do. It can trick us. It’s a funny little thing. It’s got a lot of disguises. Procrastination. Bad habits, you know, addiction; all of those things can grow as a result of fear and not wanting to confront certain things, right? It’s a bizarre thing…But it’s a gift.
Ultimately it’s a gift. It’s the thing that pushes you forward, no matter what.

 

Good God I love him. Like really.

 

Putting aside my obvious adoration for this man, I happen to think he’s right (there’s a shocker). Let’s embrace our fear. Let’s let our fear motivate us, rather than hold us back. If you’ll excuse the 6277th Mars reference, it was fear that motivated Jared to direct the video for The Kill himself, and it was that song and video which saved the band from being dropped by their record company and subsequently changed their lives. It was fear that made the band fight for their creative lives (and win!) in Artifact. People say that necessity is the mother of all invention, but I believe it is fear **. Fear can be a wonderful thing, if you know how to use it. The trick is learning to do that, but unfortunately I don’t think it’s as easy as just deciding to start using fear as a motivator. I think you have to work at it every single day. I know I need to. Fear could easily cripple me into becoming static. This last month is proof enough of that; I’ve let fear take an entire month away from me. An entire month of words, an entire month of progress, an entire month of getting closer to my dream. That’s not okay. That’s not the person I want to be. I know better than that. I know I can be better than that. I know I will be better than that.

I will embrace my fear. Fear of failure, fear of looking stupid, fear of never achieving my goals. I will let those fears motivate me to do whatever is necessary in order to make my dreams a reality. Some days it will be easier than others, but as long as I keep moving forward, I have to have faith that I’ll get there. After all, you know what they say…Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

And I WILL fight to the death in defence of my dreams.

 

 

TITLE LYRICS: ‘Alibi’ by Thirty Seconds To Everything That Man Says Is Golden
(It’s an Alibi-on-repeat-loop-all-day kind of day :3)

*I found this quote on Tumblr, screen capped it, and now I have no idea where it’s from :(

**Yeah…Jared said that one, too :p