Peeling Back the Fear

20 Sep

I own a pack of Tarot-like cards, but instead of the usual symbols and drawings, each card has a different fairy on it. They are designed by the hugely talented Brian Froud and are stunningly beautiful, even the ugly and frightening ones are gorgeous.

One card in particular, called The Soul Shrinker (fear), that despite being a watercolor painting, manages to horrify and intrigue at the same time. Unlike most cards in the deck, which look like portraits of living creatures, this one is two-dimensional. It looks like layers of fraying paper that form a face that reminds me of childhood nightmares.

The trick to understanding this card is that fear isn’t real. We construct fear, piling up layer and layer of insecurity and uncertainity until we create a monster that blocks us from doing what we want. When we peel back the layers, we learn that there is no fear. It has no substance. It doesn’t exist.

Yesterday’s post is an example of this false monster. I created it out of words, out of worry that I’d forgotten how to write, that I’d lost the tail of the story, that the habit of not writing had become too ingrained.

Then this morning I got up and went down to the local bar for a coffee and a writing session.

And guess what?

The fear (of course) was unfounded. I wrote over 1100 words on the novel, words that I liked and add to the plot, characterization and theme of the book. I blew away the paper-thin fear with the speed of my fingers on the keyboard, with the flow of ideas and with the security of my skill as a writer.

Now I have a question for you…

What insubstantial fear are you letting stop you from doing what you want?

1 Comment

Posted by on September 20, 2012 in Am Writing


One response to “Peeling Back the Fear

  1. Erin

    September 20, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    The usual: fear that I’m going to be found out. That people will realize I’m not really that clever, and I shall have to go get a real job. 😀


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