Life is always a struggle and the fear never helps.
At first, it was a fear of everything. And that really didn’t go away until recent years. I suppose that’s the fear we’re born with. I just… held it longer than I probably should have. That original fear kept me from being more as a kid. It deterred me from asking out girls as a teen. It kept me from forming bonds with my elderly family as a young adult. It kept me from leaving situations I badly needed to escape as an adult.
As I shifted shape, as I changed courses, as I forged ahead, I got over some of the fear I carry as a creative. To be creative is to be fraught with it – at least it seems that way for me. You feel so many things waiting to erupt from you. Songs to be sung, melodies to be written, stories to tell, vistas to draw, all of the things that won’t rest until they’ve not only be visualized, thought over, adjusted, and – most importantly – shared.
I’ve gotten over the self doubt of being able to tell stories that engage. I can do that. I’m over sixty-short stories now, I have two manuscripts and a half-written third. I’m working on audio projects and contemplating getting back into motion graphics again. As I press into my forties soon, I’m realizing the thing that everyone knows but doesn’t act on: the illusion is that we have time.
Hint: we don’t.
So it’s come to ahead. I’m ready now. I believe in myself. It’s time to start publishing these things. Time to let them out in the world and let them take root in minds. Time to finally commit.
I have no idea how.
And again, I get that little blade of fear sliding under my creative fingertips like an old acquaintance that always comes around looking for money – or in this case emotional capital. It knows where the tenderest flesh is, how to cut juuuuust so to make me look to anything but the work. And there’s a lot to do when I let my attention flag from the goal. Creativity, though wonderful, is not the only thing I want or have to do. I have a wonderful fiancee who I want to be with, a family I love deeply. I have books and games aplenty waiting to be indulged in, stories to experience, the ever elusive want to travel beyond my limited borders and to connect with other humans on the road with me.
I don’t have enough time.
So now it feels like the bottom of the ninth. I am at home plate with a full count, and fear is pitching me the ball. Always has.
So, with the time I have, I have to swing – swing hard – and hope that fear doesn’t have as much drop on the curve as I think it does. And hope that if I lose this game, that the next one will be different.