I’ve learned this about writing — if you will not put yourself in a position to fail, you cannot succeed. — Holly Lisle, Mugging the Muse 2nd ed.
Since I don’t know how long or how intensive these posts will be, it’s hard to predict how frequently I’ll update. Right now, I’m shooting for once a week, saving up all my work from Mugging the Muse and dumping it into a blog post.
I reserve the right to change my mind if it becomes too much for one day, up to and including more frequent posts. This will be a process in progress.
Right. On to Mugging the Muse.
So much for starting on Friday, though. We were without power for much of yesterday and so I couldn’t post. I still did the exercise from Mugging the Muse. Pen and paper for the win. Just add seat by the window for light and I was good to go. Here is the answer, typed up word for word with no editing.
Everyday Courage and the Writer
(page 6) EXERCISE: Answer the following question in between 100 and 250 words:
What scares me the most when I consider writing for a living, and WHY does it scare me?
Oof. She starts off the bat asking the one question where I feel I suffer the most. I’m not sure I can even put it into words.
A lot of it is this flying without a net. I’m all about being safe. Which is what this entire exercise is about. Learning to do what I love and realize that being safe leads to comfort. Being in comfort means I don’t stretch myself.
Definition time. Writing for a living means, to me, making my primary living as a writer. And writing for a living is self-employment. There is no job that allows me to write novels and offers a stable health plan, handles taxes and 401k and the like. I’m responsible for my own taxes, my own social security, my own health plan. There’s that netless situation now.
Because I have no idea what I’m doing! That leads to more fear. What if I do it wrong? What if I fail?
That’s it, isn’t it? Fear. It all comes down to fear. Fear is uncomfortable. Fear is the unknown. Fear is being outside the comfort zone and if I’m nothing else, I’m a creature of comfort. But I can’t reach my goals if I’m comfortable. Extending outside my comfort zone is reaching into the unknown. The unknown is full of fear.
The thing about cycles, though, is that to get anywhere, sometimes you have to step out of the cycle. Step out on faith.
Easier said than done.
Yet, here I am. I’m using Mugging the Muse and my love to let it all hang out to shift me out of comfort. It’s terrifying. My heart is pounding and my mouth is dry. It’s funny because I don’t have another choice. Either I get out of my comfortable complacency or I’ll never achieve my dreams.
Fears at war.