On Freedom and Fear and All That Lies Between

UnderwearYou may remember my post from last Saturday. I gave a writing prompt involving a cast off pair of undies and challenged you all to write a little story about it.

Many people visited the post, many clicked on the picture for a close-up of the undies, and many clicked on my “contact me” page, as if they were considering submitting a tale. (Can you tell I’m addicted to my stats page?)

Alas, no tale was submitted. This leads me to believe one of four things happened:

  1. You did not find a cast-off pair of undies inspiring. Honestly, I find this hard to believe. Someone threw off their skivvies in wild abandon and that didn’t spark your curiosity? No, it can’t be true. False on all accounts.
  2. You were intimidated by the quality comment submitted by Margo at That Little Voice:

Freedom I sought as I walked in the park.
Freedom I gained as I stopped in that park.
Let loose from restraints that kept me earth bound.
Let loose to feel freedom in all my around.

This is understandable, for that is one heck of a comment. I’m considering having it printed and framed. (I wonder if Margo would autograph it for me?)

3. You are far too busy to think about someone walking around skivvy-less. Again, I understand. It saddens me, but I understand.

Then I got to thinking, there might be a fourth reason:

4. You were about to submit your story when Fear stepped in and whispered in your ear,”Your story isn’t good enough” he said. “Someone will write something better. Don’t even try.”

If that is the case, I have to say, I understand this one all too well. Fear and I go way back.

He whispered in my ear when I was offered a position at a newspaper to Whispering+in+ear_jpgwrite a human interest column. “You’re not good enough,” he said. “Don’t accept it.” I didn’t accept it.

He whispered in my ear when I spent two years writing a novel and let a grand total of four people read it. “It’s not good enough,” he said. “Of course they said they liked it; they’re related to you. You’ll never get an agent. It’ll never get published. Who are you kidding?” I stuck the manuscript in a drawer and there it remains.

He even whispered in my ear when I started this blog, until finally I turned to him and said, “OMG! It’s just a freakin’ blog! Just SHUT UP already!”

I’ve been thinking a lot about Fear lately, and the role he’s played in my life, since I read a review of Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. The reviewer quoted this from the book:

Creativity and fear will always be linked. When you try to create a life without fear, you murder your creativity.
big magicIn other words, we must acknowledge that Fear is a normal part of life. We will never be completely rid of him. By trying to live without Fear, i.e. playing it safe, we allow Fear to dictate our decisions and as a result, murder our creativity.
I’m thinking I need to read this book. Maybe I’ll give you a review once I have.
Okay, so enough serious talk. We’ll return to our regularly scheduled folly next week. Oh, and remember that on Monday I gave you two recipes, so that means I’m off the hook for today.
But just because I’m sweet, I’m going to give you the link you to a great recipe I found: Healthy Chocolate Steel-Cut Oats. Seriously, I’ve been in heaven these last two days having this for breakfast. I highly recommend it. Pretty sure it will work with ordinary oatmeal, if you don’t like the texture of steel-cut. Give it a go.
And now it’s time for you to give your two cents … does Fear ever whisper things in your ear? Does he prevent you from pursuing your dreams?
Does he prevent you from leaving comments? 🙂

 

Author: C. J. Hartwell

Christi lives in Phoenix with Husband, Son, Daughter, and Dog. She enjoys moonlit walks on the beach, but as she doesn't live anywhere near a beach, she's usually in bed by 9:30.

20 thoughts on “On Freedom and Fear and All That Lies Between”

      1. Twas the week before Thanksgiving and I’m a bit surly

        For the holiday season was starting much too early,

        I decided to walk Dog through a nearby park

        Where his only interest was on those things squirrely.

        We passed joggers dripping from the evening heat

        With most of them looking entirely beat.

        When what to my wondering eyes did I see

        But a peaceful bustier, up in a tree…

        I assumed it was a jogger who had gotten too hot

        But thank goodness we saw no one without her top.

        Dog and I started for home and were nearly out of sight

        When we heard Happy Thanksgiving to all and to all a good night!

        (With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Unfortunately, fear (or even caution) doesn’t whisper in my ear until after I have opened my mouth or taken that first step into something.
    Fortunately, I approach everything with small steps. Much easier to retreat if need be!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A beautiful post – and it made me think if it’s fear that stops wifey from approaching an agent for the two novels she’s written. She says they aren’t good enough and she doesn’t let me look at them. Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It may be, he does get around. You know, somehow by personifying fear in this post, I realized I was starting to feel really pissed. Instead of feeling like it was a weakness or failing of mine, I began to see it as something trying to control me. And my fierce independence really hates that! I don’t know if that will help wifey at all, but two novels seems too great an achievement to hide.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And a collection of short-stories. She’s a good storyteller, but when I say that, she says that I’m trying to flatter her. Fear is a terrible thing – especially the fear of failure. It stops you from trying out thing.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I clicked on the picture, to get a better view of the undies. They looked like bloomers to me. I wanted a better look. I probably could have ran with that as a story, though. Someone being confused as to what is stuck on the tree. Like maybe some sheltered person of some sort. I don’t know. Other then that, yeah fear is a jerk. I’m always assuming people are secretly making fun of me and my blog. Maybe some people are, but in the end, you can’t please everyone, so you might as well please yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, isn’t it horrible what we can conjure up in our imaginations? Must be a side effect of thinking too much. And yes, not everyone is going to love our writing — heck, I’m sure there are some who thought Steinbeck wrote garbage and Hemingway was a sham, but thank God they didn’t stop writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Fear holds me back far too often. And it’s not always the fear of failure. Sometimes the fear of success can be just as daunting. I’m learning though. Learning that I can do the things that terrify me. And I end up a stronger, better person as a result.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s an excellent point and very true! Success can be just as scary, sometimes more so. And you’re right, each time I’ve pushed past the fear I’m better as a result. So why is that a hard lesson to learn? I’m usually such a smart student, but in this regard I can be a real dope!

      Like

  5. How in the world did I miss an opportunity to write about undies? See, this is what I get for being retired. I spend my carefree days (until the savings run out) planning grand adventures wherein I drive to remote writing retreats and work on novels that no one will ever read. (I don’t actually MAKE these trips, but I think about them a lot and therefore I miss important social media developments like a call to arms about leg garments.) I really need to focus more. Still, silver lining: I think I just made the connection of how Margo at Little Voice (who I think is great) made her way to my blog, via Yours Truly (also great). Oh wait. Maybe it was the other way around. This could be a perfect, twisty plot that I could write about if I ever went somewhere remote to write about it… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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