Thursday, May 9, 2013

Face Your Fears

I've been thinking a lot recently about really trying to blog more consistently. By recently I mean, oh, I don't know, the last seven years or so. I've even more recently (six and a half years) thought about slowly working my way toward some sort of scenario in which I get paid to write. I have these daydream sessions in which I imagine myself sitting at home with a typewriter writing the sequel to The Catcher in the Rye. Of course, it becomes an instant bestseller, I write and star in the movie adaptdation and win an Oscar, and during my acceptance speech I demonstrate how cool but humble of a guy I am and then everyone wants to be my friend (with sentences like that one, I'm bound to write a bestseller any day now).

The only problem (because there's only one) is that I never daydream about the writing part of it. I never think about the hours spent writing and editing and rewriting and whiting out all the errors from punching the wrong typewriter key. And when I finally do sit down to write I get very self-conscious. I ask myself, "Who would want to read this? This is so boring. If I am not enjoying writing it, how can I expect anyone to enjoy reading it?" In fact, I am experiencing these very thoughts as I write this very post.

However, I've been reading a book recently about how to take career aspirations and make them a reality and this book addresses this type of self-talk. The book is called Start by Jon Acuff and he calls this self-talk, "voices of fear and doubt." Jon's prescription for said voices: mock them and make them face the truth. What he means is to mock your fear by exaggerating it to illustrate how ridiculous it is in the first place and then make them face the truth by simply writing what is true about that issue. So hear goes.

Fear: "Who would want to read this? This is so boring. If I am not enjoying writing it, how can I expect anyone to enjoy reading it?"

Mock it up real good: If I continue writing this post and publish it, I will lose all four of my followers of this blog. Google will probably ban me from blogging and Wordpress will fold as a company so they do not have to publish my blog. My own mother, when reading this post, will projectile vomit and stop answering my phone calls. My eighteen month old son, despite being unable to read, will sense the lameness of my writing abilities and throw my laptop in the toilet, instantly potty-train himself in order to pee on my computer, then un-potty-train himself in order to communicate his disapproval.

The truth: Someone may want to read this and may even enjoy it. I have written some posts that people have really liked and admittedly, some that were pretty bad. If I actually write more consistently, I will get better.

That was pretty fun, especially the mocking part. What fears do you need to mock and confront with the truth?

1 comment:

  1. Can I be counted as one of your four readers? I think I still have that poetry book you published... remember that? It was great.