Crisis in Courage

How meditation and Eminem helped me overcome months of doubt.

For the past few months, I haven’t done any writing other than the occasional blog post.  It looked like I was writing.  I would pull out the notebook and sit with pen in hand.  Then I would find myself getting distracted by an urgent need to read email.  Or it was my turn in Words with Friends and I couldn’t keep my friends waiting.  Or I would write one line and analyze it to the point that I would just give up telling myself the words will come after I have a snack.  Needless to say, I did a lot of things but none of them would be defined as writing.

I finally had to ask myself:  Why?  I have a novel that needs editing and three short stories in various stages of development.  I’ve told people that I am a writer.  Yet I couldn’t bring myself to write more than a sentence or two.  I had to come to the realization that I had let fear keep me from moving forward.

I’ve told everyone that I am a writer.  I have this dream of being a published author one day.  I dream of seeing my name in print.  Characters live in my head.  I am constantly thinking of story titles and plot lines.  I even found a graphic designer and had book covers designed.  I was charging ahead.  And then I wasn’t.

After a self check, I had to admit that I was afraid.  But what was I afraid of?  Fear of failure or success?  Fear that what I had written wasn’t good enough?  Fear that it was good and I would have to repeat the feat?  All of the back and forth had me going crazy.

Then I talked to writing friend and she said something that freed me from the roller coaster of self-doubt.  She said, “First let me tell you…you are not crazy! You are an artist and you possess the temperament of an artist.”  Then she added, “We are afraid most of the time, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.  We must push past the fear…of failing, of no one buying our books, of no one understanding; even of loved ones walking or running away from us in order to be who and what we were placed on this planet to be.

This is me pushing past the fear.  I have rededicated myself to a writing schedule.  I promise myself that I will finish those short stories and complete the edits to my book.  I will do better.  And for further inspiration I turn to one of my favorite rappers, Eminem.

When I have  moments of doubt (and I know I will) I play the song “Lose Yourself” on a loop.  Eminem’s song never fails to get me inspired.  It is the soundtrack to my writing life.

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment you own it you better never let it go.  You only get one shot do not miss the chance to blow.  This opportunity only comes once in a lifetime.

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Posted on August 21, 2012, in creative writing, random thoughts, Writing Life and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Sharon Gonzalez

    Michelle your journey speaks volumes to me. I teared up reading what you wrote. My fear of success and having to live up to it grabs hold of me and just paralyzes me. I find myself making excuses to put off what I need to do. I’m up I’m down, my muse has left me. I’m fighting with complacency. Fighting with my will.


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