“Never fear shadows. They simply mean there's a light shining somewhere nearby.” ~ Ruth E. Renkel
“Never fear shadows.” Hmmm, I’ve always kind of believed that (or I tell myself that anyways). In the darkest of hours I’ve always been able to find a shimmer of light; whether internally or externally, I can push the fear away, find the light and smile. Cool, right? So I ponder, do I have any fears? Well yeah I think we all do but what's the worst one. No, it's not my fear of heights. For me, I think it's my writing. How can it be my writing, as I’m writing right now? Well, it has to be that, it appears I have an aversion to editing and use any excuse for finishing my novels.
In my writing closet there are skeletons, ghosts, goblins, creatures, spirits and banshee’s; a cast of a thousand characters, and they are all tied, unequivocally, together with the writing process. From the very first creative spark, to actual writing, finding the muse, time allotment, chapter breakthroughs, editing, query letters, log lines, etc… It’s all the same. My muse is a banshee (sometimes), characters are ghosts, and I do like them, I don’t fear them or that part of the writing process. I do know how to find the light in the proverbial dark writing closet.
So what’s the fear? The fear is simply this - I don’t like the unknowable, the unexplained things that go bump in the night. Basically, I fear the resultant end; after I've typed finis and know I have to do edits and query. Shadows come in.
Fear is defined as: 1. a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. 2. a specific instance of or propensity for such a feeling: an abnormal fear of heights. 3. that which causes a feeling of being afraid; that of which a person is afraid 4. to regard with fear 5. to experience fear in (oneself).
For me, writing starts with that first “what if” moment – this is the brainstorm that starts the whole catalyst going. There are also “what if” moments in between – during the writing process where I realize the story is taking another direction but it’s all good. Then you reach the end and a whole new cast of “what if’s” come into play – these are the moments that I fear.
Every thought you think is contributing to the true power of love, or the illusion of fear. Choose your thoughts consciously and wisely. - Dorothy Mendoza Row
What if no one likes it? What if it's not any good? What if it truly bombs and I just wasted months on this for no reason? What if no one (agent/publisher) wants it? What if the agent/publisher thinks it's a pile of horse manure? So many what ifs... I think we creative folk are our own worst enemy. We believe no one. I mean “what if” they (beta readers) are just saying it’s good to be nice. What if they just don’t want to hurt my feelings.
My feared, lurking shadows are the nasty "what if's". It is because of these dark shadows that I sit with two books unedited, a third WIP started and two story ideas nestled and waiting for their time to shine. These creative sparks are my light - I know it. I judge myself to harshly and I shouldn’t. I should believe in myself more, in my light, and my right to shine. I am deserving. I am great. The fear rises up and I do battle with it. I believe in myself and my writing. Never fear the shadows I say.
There is never a need to fear the darkness, when you know the power of your own light. - Dorothy Mendoza Row