Would you believe me if I told you I erased a near 1,000-word blog post before deleting it? Whether you believe me or not, it won’t matter. It really won’t. There is this problem I found myself having too much of this past year. Well, taking a step back from the last comment, perhaps my entire life, this problem. It is said you should control your own fear, or it will control you. Seems valid. Fear is an inhibitor, limiter, divider, and conqueror. For most, it makes for sound advice – walk away from that moment with it forever seated in the back of their minds. However, fear is all encompassing. It’s been a factor that has which controlled and influenced my entire life up until this point. Some days, that fear stood to serve my best interests, whereas the remainder of that time, all ninety-eight percent of it, left behind by peers, family and friends alike. To say there was now the dream to become a profound, published writer, would be to lie to myself and everyone else around me. Self-doubt comes thundering through like a fucking freight-train, brake lines cut and a prayer written on a piece of paper. Fear, like a slow, creeping ice-storm, freezes my feet dead center of the train tracks.
It is only in my head.
The sun rises on a new day, but it’s the same as the last. It slowly melts small areas around my feet, allowing for brief wiggle room. Both my excitement and my eagerness alike rush through my feet, but to no avail. Sun sets along the horizon, the cold weather sets in, and my feet become frozen once more. The sound of the whistle of the train, I can hear it off in the distance. Like a recurring nightmare, there’s no telling difference between each instance.
Ever since taking on this talent hunt from a profound independent publisher, the whistle from that long black train blared night and day. There was no escaping this train. And I couldn’t find a way out of it. I felt like a cliche early western movie, bound with rope to the train tracks, watching the train hurl towards you at hundreds of miles per hour. After conversing extensively with a friend, a professional writer by many standards, he helped me to realize that long black train is the reality. It’s life, it’s everything we know about it. Feeling bound to the train tracks, that rope, a metaphor for my self-doubt. And while many may pass by, it is only the person you know that will lend a hand cutting the binds. This left a bad taste in my mouth to have to hear it from a dear, well-respected friend. In the business of writing, it is only the relationships built and works published in small formats which will find you in a better position for recognition, for the potential of large publication opportunities. All my life I clung to a belief it is your work ethic, the body of work, experience in xyz industry/position, that found you earning better opportunities, grasping onto what’s left of the American Dream. In reality, it’s about the people you know. While your experience and/or skill level in a body of writing is important, it’s far less important than the relationships you build over time. As we conversed further, understood the lacking in my body of work for such a daunting challenge by this particular publisher. But in ways, it helped me to understand how it will be more beneficial for me. In a twisted take, reassessed my level as a writer and whether this challenge was doomed before it began.
Frankly, it was.
To say I’m okay with knowing that fact is to sit here and lie to all of you. One of my greatest pet peeves is dishonesty. I hold myself to a standard, and that will never be compromised for anyone, including you, my lovely friends and followers.
All in all, not only did fear rule my life to this point, and in some ways it still does, but so did having an unrelenting sense of naïvety. Now with eyes a little more open, I’m going to continue writing but in smaller, more manageable formats, building relationships and talent alike.
*I want to hear from you. How has fear ruled your life, if at all? And the same question goes for a sense of naïvety. What were your “Aha!” moments where you felt you had to let go all or bits of it for a better tomorrow?