It has been a year
since I began this blog, one year and 93 posts to be exact. For almost half this period I was fortunate
enough to have Alison and Kay adding their thoughts. Now we each have our own blogs, I have a
website, am still struggling with media (getting boring), and we are hoping to be
published by the end of the mid-year school holidays. (YEH) I am sitting here now wondering as I write
where did the fear go that for so long has held things back? Is it truly gone or has it morphed into
something new I am yet to identify?
In the face of so
much accomplished through hard won positivity, the knowledge gained along the
way from other bloggers and writers, and the support of those special people
that actually read my posts and keep me going, I can’t see fear ever rearing
its ugly head in those epic proportions again.
A little is reasonable, sensible even because it pushes the adrenalin to
the action zone but we all know what too much fear can do to our dreams. My approach these days to this emotion is
much more laid back. I understand the
word more, I understand myself more and it makes a difference.
Blogging has been an
incredibly eye-opening experience and good for my confidence. I don’t know how many people are actually
reading what I write, I don’t know how my novels will go when finally released
and yet I am not as fazed by it all as I have been. I have to be honest and say I have my
moments. Different events bring them to
the foreground. It can’t be helped as
day to day living makes demands we often doubt we can live up to. I have however come to the conclusion fear is
just a little word and I have been giving it more importance than it deserved.
More fool me for not recognising that giving
in means losing power, and why would anyone want to give so much power to such
a small word?
Fear when approached
through thoughtfully gained perspective is actually an impetus to the process
of gaining wisdom. Consider for a moment
what you have done as well as what you haven’t done and ask yourself, how much
those decisions were influenced, controlled, directed, or lead by fear and our
relationship with fear. Is fear our fuel
to burn on the road to succeeding or the rope to pull us backwards and away
from success? This is a very important
question because it determines the quality of the outcome. It is both depending on us, and only us.
In a recent post Mareo
McCracken advised us to treat fear
as a tool and to use it to lead us to success rather than let it put us into a
state of frozen animation. As a tool Mareo
thought it worthy of a name. He calls
the tool WISE. Does this sound a little
confusing? Trying to explain it to myself was hard but trying to explain it to
an audience – well, it isn’t easy but I do think it is important enough to
warrant trying. There are so many of us
that allow ourselves to be held back by fear.
Instead that very same thing could be driving us forward. If we manipulate fear as we would a tool, and
not allow it to be the emotion capable of paralysing us, then we gain the wisdom
to forge ahead to find our destiny. WISE
the tool, in an acronym form, is a mighty weapon of absolute common sense.
W: Welcome The Fear I:
Interrogate The Fear S: Separate
The Fear E: Employ The
Do you see what I
mean about common sense? It makes sense
to welcome fear. Remember the saying –
keep your friends close but your enemies closer. Fear is our enemy. Growing up I thought that was a very strange
saying. Now I know better. When you welcome fear you get to know it. You understand the unpredictability of its
striking power because getting to know fear helps you recognise the triggers. Even
better is the fact that having welcomed fear you have earned the right to question,
to interrogate until you are armed with enough information to be able to
separate the fear into small better-defined chunks. Like trying to eat the proverbial elephant, we
can only eat one bite at a time. Small
chunks can be dealt with easier and more successfully. We can then take these chunks and employ them
to push us where we want to go. We use
the adrenalin to spur us on. This
discussion reminded me of a book I hold dear despite its age. It is called Feel the Fear and do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers. In it she talks about turning fear and
indecision into confidence and action.
Having said all this
I have to admit this last week I had my fears pay a visit. On receipt of a much needed and very welcome
final edit, for uploading purposes, some of the comments have proceeded to send
me into frenzy. The suggestions were
good but I had two very different people reading in two very different ways. At this stage I had not expected so many
comments on the characters and their behaviours. Who do I listen to because in
amongst it all, my gut feeling is telling me the direction I want to take, is
the right one to get where my characters need to go? They are like children not yet old enough to
leave home and need my guidance; I gave birth to them after all. I am writing a series and although each one
will be a stand alone, my original characters continue all the way through and
will continue grow and expand. Now I am doubtful
about my instincts with my characters. I
have two choices, make the changes or follow my gut.
Don’t get me
wrong. I have no problems with the idea
of reviews or criticism. I fully expect
comments concerning style, structure, the grammar, the spelling, the character
development – the list is endless. Likewise in other areas whether it be the film
industry, art in general or even simply the clothes we wear there is a genuine
need for outside input that we should welcome.
This is how we improve. However it is hard to know what to do in the
face of someone questioning the direction of your characters, not their development
but their direction. I struggle with
changes that affect the essence. It’s my
weakness not just in my writing but in life in general.
It doesn’t take much
to trigger our fears and this week seems to have been my week for it. Last Thursday I went to the theatre with a
friend to see a play based on Wuthering Heights, one of my all time favourite
classics. The result wasn’t pretty. I was horrified at the complete disregard of
the elements in the novel that are the essence of the story. On stage Cathy became a shrill witch whilst Heathcliffe
seemed totally devoid of personality. Where was that wild, confused, and too often perverse
love these two characters have exuded for well over two centuries? Sometimes
love is bewildering, all-consuming and its effects, erratic. I left at interval not having the stamina to
see something I have long loved misrepresented by words and the delivery of
I remember feeling the same way about the film
The Thorn Birds. Both script and actors failed to show the
torment of a heart divided. I know full
well that a script can’t contain every aspect of the plot. Time constraints, setting, events can all be
difficult to include. But there is no excuse for losing the essence of the
story. Ultimately it is this that makes
the story unique. There is however the
option to make changes in keeping with the integrity of the story. I once saw a production of Macbeth in WW2
costumes and setting. It was wonderful
because the changes didn’t lose the essence.
My question to myself
is what to do next? I think I need to
get my WISE tool out before I go any further.
I am in sore need of perspective so I can regain my confidence and take the