Saturday, December 06, 2008

Fighting Back

I have a love-hate relationship with parties. Whenver I get the nerve to throw one, a voice deep inside of me hackles me with the fear, "What if no one comes?"

I'm not sure if it is a childhood thing, or a plain lack of security but that ugly thought always rises his head whenever I decide to open my home to visitors.

Last night was no exception.

Twenty plus people from my Sunday school class celebrated Christmas at my dining room table, family room couch and around my kitchen island last night. We had enough food to keep everyone here for a week.

But even long after I'd filled the garbage can with half-filled cups and leftover plates of food--the fears filled my thoughts again: Was I a good enough hostess? Did I get to everyone and ask about their lives? Did they really have a good time?

I know rationally my fears are ungrounded. But fear works like that, it gets under your skin and uses anything it can to unnerve you and to destroy self-confidence.

Fear is doing that with my writing right now. It's been trying to worm itself into my thoughts inch-by-inch and despite some recent successes--it's managed to take root in some of those areas I haven't nailed down yet.

Like writing a good book.

So I'm doing battle right now with the thought that I might never be able to write the book I really want to write. And maybe part of me needs to listen to those fears so that I will take whatever next step I need to do--like praying more, learning more, and writing more.

So that's where I am in the process. What have some of you done when the doubts begin to pile up?


Angie Ledbetter said...

Terri, I'm so ornery and stubborn (remember the link I tried to post yesterday?) that the self-doubt just acts as an encourager. Besides fear of failure, I fear MORE having regrets in my old age. You won't know unless you try. Now...git bizy! :)

Travis Erwin said...

I hate having people to my house except in the summer when we can cook out and hang-out outside.

Barbara said...

I've nominated you for an award. Stop by my blog and see!

Melissa Marsh said...

Embrace the fear. I know that sounds like an odd concept, but bear with me. Dennis Palumbo, in his book, Writing from the Inside Out, devotes a chapter to fear and tells a story of how he was climbing a mountain and was terrified of it. His climbing instructor asked what was wrong and he said, "I'm afraid." His instructor said, "Good, otherwise I wouldn't climb with you." and then said, "Fear keeps you in the stay in touch with it - and just keep slogging up the mountain." Palumbo goes on to say, "If we try to sequester our fears, leave them out of the equation, then much of our creative energy is drained away. No fear, then no release from fear. No anxiety, then no anticipatory rush. It's as though, to scale the mountain of our writing craft, we need excitement and fear to get us to the top."

I love this book and highly recommend it, as well as Ralph Keyes' The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear.

Janna Qualman said...

I think it's because we women (in general) are so over-analytical about EVERYTHING. We can't just be or do, we have to tear it to shreds and look at it from all sides, inside and out. It's something I try to work on but, so far, haven't been good an reining in.

Janna Qualman said...

I nominated you for a blog award... check out today's post!