Friday, July 26, 2013

How to Answer FEAR, by Matthew MacNish



Watch the video. If you're a young kid, or the parent of a young kid, be aware there's some implied violence, and one semi-foul word, but if not, I hope you'll see how The First Sword of Bravos, Syrio Forel's admonition to Arya Stark is a perfect analogy for how to answer Fear. Just replace "death" with "fear."

In other words, when fear tries to take over your day, your life, your ambition, your dreams, and you feel like its crippling grip is latching on to whatever motivation you might have left to do what you do?

There's is only one thing you need say to Fear.

"Not today."

I bring this up, even though it's Friday and I don't want to keep you long, because I was recently offered a writing related opportunity. I can't share the details, but they really don't matter. What matters is that it was the kind of opportunity that for an unpublished writer like me, scared me half to death. I felt like I didn't belong. I felt like I had done nothing to have earned the right to be offered such an opportunity. I was convinced I wasn't good enough.

I spent over 24 hours running these thoughts through my head. I almost turned the opportunity down because of them.

But those thoughts? They were only Fear.

And what do we say to Fear?

18 comments:

  1. Not today! I'm excited for you and this opportunity , no matter if you take it or not. These things tend to be growing experiences either way. :)

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  2. Best of luck! When we feel the fear that usually means we made the right decision b/c we'll grow from it! :)

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  3. Not today! That's a great scene. I read somewhere that where there's fear is where you're most likely succeed when you confront it. I can't remember where I read it. But I really liked it!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

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    1. I definitely think that's true. Thanks, Laura!

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  4. I loved this scene, both in the book and on screen. Thanks for the lesson in how to deal with our fears!

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    1. Well, it's easier said than done, but you're welcome, Mike!

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  5. I so relate to this. There are many opportunities that come up that make me want to immediately say no to, just out of fear. There is something embedded deep inside me that still likes to suggest I am a fake, a poser, that I know nothing and have nothing to offer to people. It is a constant fight to shut this voice down.

    I am saying yes to more things despite that voice. I do things that purposely scare the crap out of me, things I don't feel qualified for. Why? Because we don't grow by sticking to what's comfortable. We grow by challenging these fears and rising to the moment.

    And you know what? It gets easier to say yes every time. :)

    Angela

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    1. Thanks, Angela! I sure hope it does get easier. I'll have to let you know ...

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  6. Not today. Perfect post. Screw fear. So much is about luck and timing, which never gets talked about (or rarely ever) in the pub business. Way I see it, everyone will get a chance or a break or two, and the key is to be ready and take advantage of it...and not let fear scare you off.

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  7. Matt, if anyone deserves an awesome writing opportunity it's you! It's not about what you've published. It's about your talent and clearly you've got that covered. :)

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  8. Matt, I remember back years ago when I signed up for an intensive 5 day writing workshop in virginia. I had paid for it and made all the arrangements for my family to exist without me for awhile, but I think every bit of that long drive there, I wanted to turn around, and I nearly did at one point. I'm so glad I didn't, because what I learned there really propelled me forward.

    And I try to live by the Dune quote Andrew put in his post.

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    1. Oh wow. That does sound nerve-wracking!

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Thanks for adding to the mayhem!