“I invented this rule for myself to be applied to every decision I might have to make in the future. I would sort out all the arguments and see which belonged to fear and which to creativeness, and other things being equal I would make the decision which had the larger number of creative reasons on its side. I think it must be a rule something like this that makes jonquils and crocuses come pushing through the cold.”
Katherine Butler Hathaway
I’m not sure who Katherine is but these words of hers struck a chord with me. So often, not only in life, but in our writing, we find ourselves faced with making choices that spring from either fear or creativeness. These two impulses an have such different outcomes!
When we choose from a place of fear, what happens?
We feel contracted and constricted: Fear springs from our belief in limitation and lack: That we don’t have enough talent or fresh ideas or skill to write the way we want to write and say what we want to say.
We play small: Fear makes us want to protect ourselves, to stay in our comfort zone, to avoid risks, and choose the easier, less demanding road. We may decide not to make a bold plot choice or not to contact that big agent we’d love to work with but are sure wouldn’t want to work with us.
We fail to believe in ourselves: When fear drives our decisions, we send a message to ourselves that we don’t believe in ourselves: that we don’t have faith in our ability to summon up and find the ideas and words we need to accomplish our goals.
When we choose from a place of creativity, the results can be so much more exciting!
We show courage and confidence: When we make the bolder choice to let go of our fear, we write from an expansive, enlightened place. We feel bigger and more sure of our way. We find the strength to grow, to push ourselves, to explore new territory.
We unleash energy: When we tap into our creativity, we inspirit and embolden ourselves. We release wellsprings of drive and motivation that carry us forward and keep us going when we feel like stopping: We find a second wind.
We summon support: When we let our creativity shine and overtake our fear, we let the universe know that we’re ready and willing to step out, to be heard, to share our words, ideas, and feelings. And the universe responds with unimagined help and encouragement.
Sometime soon in our writing, maybe even today, we’re going to have to choose between fear and creativity. And when that moment comes, let’s be creative crocuses, not shrinking violets. Let’s push through our fear and write dangerously! Write on.