05 May

Acclimate Your Irrational Writer Fear...

Many, many, MANY moons ago, my mother entered me into swimming lessons, as we lived on a lake, and she wanted me to play safe around water.
I took to swimming like fish would do.
It turned out to be my best athletic skill.
Along with me was my childhood neighbor, her mother wanting the same thing for her daughter. My friend did not take to it like a fish; rather, she was scared stiff of putting her face in water. So the Tadpole teacher - yes, our class was called the Tadpoles, stop snickering! - brought her a shallow tub, filled it with pool water, and had my friend get used to dunking her head in that small space, like she would in a sink to wash her face, to acclimate her mind to the act, to eliminate her irrational fear.
Over a few repeated sessions, the exercise worked. My friend realized she had nothing to fear from being in the pool water. Afterwards, she learned how to swim along with me. I went on to become a lifeguard and competitive butterfly and long distance swimmer, and she went on to become a high-end classical pianist who could swim. I, however, failed staccato in Grade 3 classical piano because I pounded the keys like Jerry Lee Lewis. Meh, t'is life.
Why do I mention this personal ditty?
Because I want to offer you a tub of pool water, too!
If in a very long while, you haven't had the courage to open your laptop or your notebook and start writing, I want you to do THIS exercise starting today:
Open your writing device and simply type or write the word, "The." Yes, you read me right. Just "The." Then close your writing device and go about your normal day.
Tomorrow, do the same thing, BUT type TWO words, "The ___ + ___"
And close your device.
Do this every single day, adding a gradated amount of words, until you have an entire sentence. It doesn't matter what sentence it is. And keep doing this exercise UNTIL the ACT of OPENING your device to write becomes AUTOMATIC, second nature, that you do it without even realizing you're doing it.
Your inability to write stems from irrational fear. It is preventing you from even opening your device. You are literally catatonic right now about the process. My friend played in that tub of water until she dipped her face in without even thinking, and eventually, she realized her fear WAS unfounded.
You may think this exercise is childish.
You may think you are far too adult/mature for this exercise.
Think again. 
Any endeavor which creates irrational fear inside a person needs baby steps of acclimation to erode that fear from the mind. Humans aren't as evolved as we give ourselves credit. Practice, familiarity, are still the main tools against irrational fear.
Are you game to dunk your head in a tub of pool water today?
I'm waving at you from the deep end! :-D

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