Friday, December 3, 2010

Fear: My Old/New Motivation

Inspiration comes in many forms. I'll see a banal television commercial depicting a middle-aged man carrying a surfboard and I immediately wonder, "What's his story?" That question grew into my current work in progress.

I see stories everywhere because I question everything I see. The difficult part for me is believing enough in my creation to see it to fruition. Is my story strong enough? Will it draw in the reader at line one and then keep them interested for the next four hundred pages? Fear spreads breeding chronic self-doubt, my self-inflicted Debbie Downer.

It scares me to the point of paralysis, keeps me from acting on impulse and trusting my ideas.

Lately it's been killing me and has let Ugly Inner Critic win...

And then something fabulous happened this past Wednesday, right on the brink of my angst. I received an email from a friend who had recently seen an interview of Broadway director Julie Taymor. Friend said it caused him to think of me. Intrigued, I tracked down the interview based on his comments.

In her interview she stated, "I love it when people say what a horrible, lousy idea. I think that’s great. I hate the comfort zone…I don’t think that anything that’s really creative can be done without danger and risk." When asked how scared she is, Taymor replied, "Oh, yeah, I'm scared. If you don't have fear then you are not taking a chance."

Julie Taymor is my new hero. She lets fear drive her. Her words shook me by the shoulders. I recalled the fear I felt when I wrote sentence one in my first manuscript eight years ago. Uncomfortable sitting at the blank page; my stomach squeezed like when you see the dentist's needle coming at you. Scared, uncertain, I wanted to puke. Yet, it didn't stop me, and thanks to Friend's thoughtful email, my drive has returned.

It takes a lot of nerve to believe in yourself I have found. It's important to listen to opinions and ideas as well as criticisms, but it's more important to clearly see your path and then stay on it. Keep on keepin' on for yourself, because if you don't believe in you, no one else can or will.

Special thanks to Friend for reminded me of who I really am. I owe ya one, pal.


Robin Bielman said...

So glad you've got the belief in yourself back! I struggle with that too so I shall take this most excellent post and remember those fighting words. :)

Happy writing!

Erica Orloff said...

LOVE THIS POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kath Calarco said...

Binks, I think writers struggle every single day in many ways. Confidence is a squirming little bugger. We feel it yet can't fully grasp it. When that happens it's time to stand up and say, "Enough already! Yeah, I'm scared shitless, but I'm gonna win anyway."

Kath Calarco said...

Erica, hope you saw the interview. I've never felt so fueled by such simplicity.

Mary Vensel White said...

Inspiration comes from surprising sources sometimes, and usually right when you need it. Great post.

Kath Calarco said...

Mary, so true. Funny how that works, huh? :-)