I finally realized something the other day…sometimes, when things just aren’t going the way we expect, there’s one person we often overlook when passing out the blame:
I’ve been getting this message in various forms for some time now but just hadn’t let it sink in until I finally fought against my own struggles with getting back to what it is I need to do – the need to write.
Even with the personal struggles I’ve been dealing with this year, was the lack of mental energy in response to those struggles the only reason I wasn’t able to get back to writing? I had hit a huge roadblock when it came to writer’s block, but until recently, I hadn’t realized what may have been the true reason behind my inability to get back to writing.
That reason? It was very likely fear.
Why would anyone be afraid to write? It wasn’t that I was afraid of writing; I believe now that for me, it was the fear of what I would write, or how my story would cross across, considering the frame of mind I was in after all that had happened.
That fear pretty much got in my way so that each time I sat down to write, I had a difficult time without realizing why. However, it may also be the reason why I was able to write a novel in a completely different genre during Camp NaNo in April; who knows, but time will tell when that novel finally surfaces for the masses to critic.
So what enlightened me with regard to the fear that may have limited my creativity?
Like I said, I’d been getting this message in various forms, whether through blog posts, magazine articles, Facebook quotes and even television shows (catching up on Once Upon a Time I remember hearing Regina, the evil queen, say that we stand in the way of our own happiness).
And through these various forms of enlightenment, this is what I’ve learned:
- When we stop doing what we enjoy, when procrastinating becomes our new normal, oftentimes the reason behind the new normal is due to fear.
- A way to know when fear is motivating, or limiting us, is when we avoid what we enjoy, have excuses as to why we aren’t doing it, find any number of ways to procrastinate and become overly anxious when we make any attempt to get back to our normal routine.
- When it comes to creative individuals and writers like myself (or maybe it’s just us Type-A personalities), we are usually intense and react strongly to the highs and lows of life and when a road forks so that it alters what we expected, the reaction to that change will likely throw us off balance. We just have to be prepared for this possibility so that we don’t stay off balance for too long.
- For creative individuals, writers and even Type-A personalities, if we are avoiding what we love to do and resist what would usually challenge us, then it is definitely time to perform a reality check.
- We must try to avoid: losing sight of what actually makes us happy, giving power to fear, staying stagnant, or resisting what is needed to face the realities behind the fear.
- To change our reaction to the fear we need to: recognize what triggers our fears, let go of expectations, set reasonable expectations and goals, let go of the past if it denies us moving forward in a positive way, get back into what feeds our passion or creativity and when we feel the urge to resist, do it anyway.
- Once the fear is gone, keep it at bay with positive habits: appreciate who we are, practice daily with writing or whatever feeds our creativity, develop a habit of mindfulness, add meaning to our day, know our strengths and use them to the best of our ability, give back to others and never forget to be grateful.
Keep calm, stay strong and create!