Monday, April 23, 2012

Taming the Inner Self

There's something they never tell you about writers. Never ever ever, not until you finally experience it. You see, there's this little demon that lives inside all of us, and this little demon wants nothing more than to see you fail. That little demon is the fear of success demon or, rather, the fear of change demon.

Now, you might say, “Why would I be afraid of success? I want to be the next Stephenie Meyer!” It's very true that you might well want that for yourself. However, there's something else to it—we don't want things to be upset. We're used to our lives pretty much the way they are, and that's sort of what we want to maintain—familiarity. Sure, if someone could ensure us the same level of success as Meyer, I think most of us would take it. But the problem is that there is no guarantee in this business, so we fear and despair, and every rejection, nasty beta, or hard edit we have just compacts that fear into a little ball of rocky terror in our souls.

But I'd like to share a quote with you:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”
~Nelson Mandela

And it's true. We worry so much about our inadequacies, but that's just a front for the real terror—that we are too much for ourselves to handle, that we cannot be controlled, even by our own will. You know what—lose control. That power is the gift given to us to help guide us through life and help us through the rough patches. As a writer, it's your greatest tool, because it lets you do the seemingly impossible—finish on time, edit this, submit that, write this character, format this book, rise to the top, movie deal, merchandising, franchising, buying Skywalker Ranch right from under George Lucas' well-paid ass. With this power unleashed, we can truly start taking charge.

So don't try and tame the demon inside of you—let it frolic and bask in the glorious release of power.

Feeling a little wild,


Rhonda Parrish said...

I don't know if my demons are the same as yours, but they are very definitely there. Perhaps you're right and I ought to learn to harness their power rather than trying to suppress it.



~ Rhonda Parrish

Erin M. Hartshorn said...

I think The War of Art by Steven Pressfield does a great job of addressing the inner problems of a creator especially that fear of change.