Monday, March 12, 2012

Fear of Failure

I read recently that one of the many ways that New Year’s resolutions fail is when we announce them to everyone and then promptly fail to follow through. The rationale is that we declare them in the hopes that the specter of public humiliation will motivate us, feel fulfilled in the announcement (as if it was a step in the right direction) and then do nothing. I’ve been doing that for more than a year.

Technically, I launched this blog in January of 2011. That was when I chose the name, the template and the concept. I announced (to the few who cared) that I would be blogging soon and then proceeded to do absolutely nothing with it. It wasn’t laziness that held me back (this time), but a raft of lame excuses barely concealing a deep, dark truth: I was afraid.

I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I discovered the magic of falling into a good story. I’ve started countless short stories and novels, few of which I completed. Of the ones completed, I shared … two or three. I even wrote a children's book once. (Yes, really.) Meanwhile, I wrote occasionally for a couple of small publications and ended up writing press releases for a living. Why? Because I jealously guarded that fantasy. I preferred to continue dreaming about being a writer over actually trying and failing. Just the idea of showing my work to anyone made me nervous. What if I’m talentless after all?

I can’t tell you what changed, exactly. I didn’t have an epiphany, nor did I feel a compulsion to face my fears. It was probably a combination of encouragement from some truly awesome people (you know who you are) and a general frustration with my own cowardice. When I took a step back and thought about it, I couldn’t see the sense in being afraid. So I took a leap and launched the damn thing. What do I have to lose?

The worst that could happen is that no one reads any of this. I already know I can live with that. :)

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