Name Thy Fear.

First Day of the Eleventh Month of the Twenty-Twenty-Oneth Year. It’s the day after Halloween. Halloween a United States custom of celebrating scary activities, dressing up in costume, and tricks or treats. Halloween reminds me of fear.

Fears. We all have them. Sure some macho-man or macho-lady will say they face their fears, but the real truth is that fear is inescapable. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that fear is often irrational. If one were to just name their fear and explore it, you’d find the original fear is less powerful than originally thought. Even though I learned this tactic. It doesn’t mean I actually employ it. So, let’s try it. Let me try the “name thy fear” tactic publicly today.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of people attempt to write 50,000 words to create a novel. NaNoWriMo is the title of that activity, and I’m sure many of you readers know about it, and maybe even some of you have completed that project. I have never attempted the task. It’s not that I don’t want to. It’s not that I don’t have many hundreds of novels inside me waiting to come out. Then, Why? What is keeping myself from attempting undertaking such an attainable task? If I’m completely honest with myself: It’s more I’m afraid to attempt it. What if I fail? What if no likes what I write? What if everyone likes what I write? What if I really don’t have novels inside me? What if…. Another thought I have is that I have difficulty completing the easier announced goals, how can I attain a more challenging goal?

If you remember, earlier this year, I announced my 2021 goal to write 21 blog posts. Obviously, this is my first blog post since that announcement. Didn’t I mention, that I dislike pre-announcing goals? Needless to say, my intention was to write approximately two blog posts a month. That did not happen. However, my original goal, 21 blog posts in 2021, is still attainable. I just need to restructure the rhythm. Still, I’m left thinking why?

Why did I not adhere to my original plan? It’s easy to say “Life” got in the way, and it did. It’s more than that though. It’s easy to say I did not know what to write about. It’s easy to say I don’t know who my audience is. All of that may be true. It’s easy to say, that I don’t want to edit, or maybe I’m just lazy, or maybe the sky is blue, or whatever easy thing it is to say. If it’s easy to say all those things and I know it, when why? In reality, I’m guessing, I’m afraid.

I never named the fear. Never confronted it. I might not even be afraid for all I know, but some apprehension is keeping me from writing consistently even though I think its something I want to do — so much so, that I publicly announced it.

Then, what am I afraid of writing 21 blog posts? That’s a darn good question. Maybe I’m afraid of knowing the answer. OR: Maybe I’m afraid of not knowing the answer. I could go on and on, but then I’d just have to edit this for conciseness. So. I’ll just say it may not matter.

What does matter? I have read: practice makes perfect. If you want to become proficient at something, you need to put in the time. You need to practice. I know the answer. I know that my first blog posts will be bad. I know that my first draft will be rough. Knowing it and doing it are not always the same. Is this my best post? No. I’m working in public though. That’s part of the learning curve. That’s part of publishing. That’s part of my goal. Explore the raw-ness.

I guess we will see if the tactic of naming thy fear worked. It certainly did move the needle on my publish in public goal.