05 April

Fear of Being Hurt – Free Yourself from Control…

Fear of Being Hurt = Need for Control

That equation has been around since our caveman days…

Caveman fears being eaten by sabre-toothed tiger. Caveman starts fires around the perimeter of his encampment. Caveman assigns other cavemen to stoke the fires and keep a watch-out, with spears in hand, all through the night, so the caveman village will be safe, no caveman or cave woman will be eaten.

Flash forward a few eons…

Cave Person Writer: Fear of Writing Failure/Ego Hurt = Need for Control

I’ll put off writing to insure no hurt. I’ll wait until I know all risks are well under control before I write, so I won’t get hurt.

True. If you control all the ways in which you will not be hurt; i.e. just don’t write, just don’t put your work out there to be judged, for YOU to be judged. Yeppers, you not writing, you figuratively setting those encampment fires, will keep those literary judgmental sabre-toothed tigers away, and your Ego won’t be eaten alive. But no art from you will live either.

Unlike the cavemen, your very life isn’t dependent on this need for control. Writing or not, you will have food to eat, a shelter over your head. You will wake up the next day, very much alive and well.

Alas, cavemen instincts are hard to shed, aren’t they? Humans are not as evolved as we like to think we are, and I wonder more so sometimes about writers. Fear, doubt, they seem to pervade this artistic group like no other, as if to have someone read words we’ve plunked down on paper is like a doctor doing surgery on our heart with a rusty knife.

Solution: Relinquish Control. Let it go. Nobody will die here.

Plan, yes. Make a plot plan. Create a character bible. Formulate your non-fiction thesis with talking points. But then, LET GO. JUMP. Let your Ego hit the air and fall with no net to catch you. ASSUME YOU ARE TAKING RISKS.

Mind Morph: Learn to EMBRACE the RISKS. Assume every time you put pen to paper, you are jumping, free-fall.

Your Job: is to create, the best you know how to do at this very moment in your life.

Readers Job: to absorb what you created.

Result: Acceptance, Rejection – NOT YOUR JOB. Once your work is out there, it’s NO LONGER YOURS. Now, it belongs to the world. Know that. Accept that. FREE YOURSELF from that WORRY. You did the work to the very best of your ability: Draft, Read Out Loud, Self-Edited, Beta Readers, Pro Edited, Re-writes — Published. Done.

The work was your effort. The mind exhaustion, the focus needed, that was the only hurt you will ever need to absorb, and that kind of hurt comes with EVERY JOB OUT THERE, from plumber to pastor, from politician to pastry chef, from post hole digger to philosopher.

As a human, Work = Effort. That’s a fact of life. That is trans-generational. But the mind/body hurt from expending energy on a task will be healed through rest after the work is done. Being tired is not a death sentence, peeps. It lets you know your effort was worth it. It resulted in a worthy product.

HOMEWORK: Jump. Hit that air. Accept that there is no safety net to creating.

Reality: Control is really just an illusion anyway. Humans only think they are in control. So why hold onto something that’s a mirage?

Jump. Write. Free-fall.

Live to enjoy the literary ride.

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