Thursday, March 20, 2014

No Fear

 Change is hard even when it’s as welcome as spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

Robins may not be bobbing where you live, but they’re on their way.  In anticipation of their arrival, I offer links to three posts that help writers and others shake off the winter doldrums and renew enthusiasm for our work.

From agent Victoria Marini comes the reminder writers don’t need the right gel pen, a room of one’s own, or appreciation from others to write. Her post speaks to anyone who ever mistook a cunning file system and colored Post-it notes for the key to unlocking creativity. Here’s a small part of her message:

There will be days where you do not feel like a writer, where you do not feel taken seriously. 

Write anyway.”
Travel-memoir writer Torre DeRoche overcame a big fear thanks to a little dog.  

Are you wondering what fear has to do with writing? I’m no psychologist, but if we want to write but aren’t, I’ll bet it's fear that holds us back.

At The Author Chronicles, Kerry Gans gets specific about the kind of fear that freezes writers. She distills fear of success and fear of failure to one giant bugaboo: fear of change. 

As humans, we crave consistency. Change always brings elements of the unknown, and people fear what they don’t know or don’t understand. Change is scary–it requires adaptation, flexibility, and courage. Once we’ve reached a level plateau, climbing to another level requires hard work and taking risks–and I, for one, am not a risk-taker. Change is hard.”
Gans is right when she says change is hard. It does, however, bring rewards, some of which aren’t obvious at first glance. Last week, I moaned about the switch to Daylight Savings time. This week, I’m grateful the sky is bright until almost seven p.m.
Have you ever thought your success hinged on the right organization system? Are signs of spring evident in your neck of the woods?


Patricia Rickrode w/a Jansen Schmidt said...

There is no perfect time to start but if we never start we'll never finish. So my advice is to just start already.

I'm not a huge fan of change, but I've tried to look at it as a new adventure every time I'm faced with it. My husband - total creature of habit - hates change. HATES it.

Patricia Rickrode
w/a Jansen Schmidt

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

I like your attitude, Patricia/Jansen. If I viewed every day as an adventure, I'd be a lot less cranky and a lot braver.

Liz Flaherty said...

I think "write anyway" is probably the best writing advice I've ever read. I've always used (smugly, I think) the "you can't fix a blank page" mantra, but I'm changing it now.

Thanks, Pat!

Lark Howard said...

Thanks for the lovely post, Pat. I especially enjoyed Torre's blog. Having 2 new puppies that need walking twice a day, I can relate to how dogs change your experience. I was never afraid to walk in my rather snooty neighborhood but no one EVER spoke to me. In the last month I've met people on my walks almost daily including an ancient "hermit" we've wondered about for years. He was out walking his two elderly dachshunds and decided he needed to talk to the crazy woman with the two wild white puppies. So walks have become Adventures in New Stuff for the dogs and Meet the Neighbors for me--everyone is having a grand old time.

I like change--just not this spring forward time change.

Coleen Patrick said...

I remember a few times making post it note filled poster boards for plot, chapters, etc. I didn't really have a routine down at that time, so I kept trying out different things. Basically elaborate forms of procrastination. :)

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Liz,
"Write anyway" works for me, but I admit a fondness for "you can't fix a blank page." I do a lot of fixing.

Guess what's in my Kindle? The Girls of Tonsil Lake!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Lark, I envy you your puppies and the chances to connect that come with their cuteness and exuberance. What fun for you and the puppies to meet the hermit and his dachshunds. (Meanwhile, the dachshunds must have been thrilled to get a tiny but memorable change in routine.)

I saw a photo of the puppies on your Facebook page. Adorable!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Coleen,
Poster boards and elaborate timelines on whiteboard never worked for me, either. "Write anyway" does, so that's my go-to strategy.

Enjoy the Cascades Library (Virginia) Authors' Fair. I'll be there in spirit, talking up your books.