I don’t understand it. I feel the closer I get to what I’m striving for the more fear I feel. While I’ve learned push to it aside and keep going, it has made me pause on more than one occasion. This isn’t like any phobia that I know of. I’m not talking about the fear of flying or the fear of getting mugged on the street. What I’m referring to is the fear of success (or maybe that is a phobia).
What if I actually become this writer that people say I have the potential to be? There is a certain amount of craziness to that. It just increases my own expectations of myself. I’m in the game because many times writing has gotten through the roughest portions of my life, so for this to become more than just a hobby can be frightening.
I have just gotten used to the notion that the novel might actually be decent. What’s scaring me is not fact that that book might be bad, it’s the fact that people might actually read it. There are a lot of things going on in the book that makes me wonder what would happen if someone at my college read it and were offended by the overall theme. Don’t get me wrong, this is not an x-rated book where sex is dripping from every page, but there are themes that are discussed that make me cringe a bit for the only fact that my parents will read it.
There is a bluntness about the story. Men do stupid things all the time and I’ve had to dig deep in many chapters of the story. Yet, I cannot help but think some people will have a problem with it. I have been criticized before and I’m very aware of my past mistakes. I just have this fear that I will have to go in front of a firing squad again.
This is not say that I don’t fear failure because I do but, I know how to recover from it. I have failed before and I will fail again. I learn from it. I’m not sure I would be all that upset if no one read the novel because not many have read it thus far anyway. No matter what happens I can still say that I created something. I can at least say that I fulfilled a goal of mine. The problem is that as I’ve gotten older, I have become more aware of that is going in the world. One wrong move and labels fly. We live in an era for public shaming without discussion. I know that I cannot satisfy everyone and I’m well aware there are people in this world who wish me success and some who wish me failure. I think too much and I get it. I’m a perpetual over-thinker and even with that I still make silly mistakes so I cannot foresee everything.
Which also means that my fears extend beyond the pages. I’m in a very good place in my life. I really couldn’t be happier and that is also unsettling. In the past, there were gaps in my life where stress and uneasiness was just a part of my everyday existence. Not having that in my life is a pleasure but it makes me think that something is right around the corner, some unforeseen threat that will crack what is going with me.
I know. I know, it sounds like paranoia, but it’s also adulthood. Which bring me to my last fear. I turn 40 this year and there seems to be a theme with everyone on Facebook and Instagram. Everyone is having a baby. I’ve made this clear years ago that I stopped hoping for this possibility because I just didn’t see it and while things are looking better, I will be an old man if this does indeed happen. Granted, I’m not talking about Dick Clark old or even Charlie Chaplain old when having kids, but is a thought that weighs on me from time to time.
I press on because I have to. As much fear as I may have, I do recognize most of my fears are indeed irrational. I made a pledge to make zero excuses and I will continue to do so but the fear will always make me pause.