Friday, April 23, 2010

The Death of Fear is Certain

“Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain.” Ralph Waldo Emerson uttered these words many years ago, but they still ring true today.

Several years ago I assessed my life and realized I had missed out on a lot because I let fear hold me back. Determined not to continue on this path I embarked on my “Year of Living Adventurously.” My goal was to try something new every month. Through that year I began to step out of my comfort zone and experience more. It was a great year and it inspired me to be more adventurous every day.

One of my greatest fears involves my desire to write. I believe that God has given me the ability to string together words in a coherent (generally) manner. I also believe that God wants to use my writing to make a difference for at least one person in this world.

Knowing this doesn’t calm the fear that my work may never be good enough. I have written on and off for years. Still I find it hard to put myself out there and have others read my work. Writing for me is fine, but I will never be able to allow God to fully use me if I don’t put myself out there.

The thing about writing is that it involves a lot of rejection. It’s a fact of life that any published writer will confirm. We writers have to develop thick skins. I have gotten better about that through working with my mentors at the Christian Writer’s Guild. And, I have been blogging for about three years now. One would think that it would be easier by this time.

Sad to say, it is still a struggle for me and one that I am determined to overcome. That involves submitting my work to publishers and editors. I know that my blog has affected people. I have friends and strangers who have told me how my writing has touched them. So I need to continue doing the thing I fear until the death of fear is certain.

Now, for the real purpose of this post. Drum roll, please. I have submitted the first chapter of the novel I am working on to a contest sponsored by the American Christian Fiction Writers. Genesis is the opportunity to have authors read and critique my work. It is a win-win way to ease into submitting my work. Even if I don’t place or win I will get valuable feedback.

I worried that my first chapter didn’t tell enough of the story. I whined some about how it’s not fair that this contest doesn’t get to see more of my work. Then I realized the beauty of this contest. If the first chapter doesn’t catch the eye of the judges it isn’t as effective as it needs to be. The first chapter doesn’t tell the whole story. It gets the reader interested in finding out what happens next and keeps them reading. I will soon find out if that is the case with my book and if not, I have the opportunity to do some fine tuning.

I took one more step toward putting this fear to death and I am proud that I did. Next step soon to follow!

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