Monday, January 24, 2011


I am trying to embrace fear. Normally, I am not a fan. I'm not a big watcher of horror movies despite having written an urban fantasy with werewolves and vampires and other nasties. I do not like being startled. I read the ends of books before I get there because I need to know that characters are okay at the end. Yes. Even when I'm reading romance and should just trust. I fear for them and it's unpleasant for me.

I have written a book proposal that is scaring the hell out of me. Two writers that I admire very much have recently (within the last six months or so) talked about how the book you're afraid to write is probably the one you should be working on. The fear means you care enough about it to get it right. The fear means you're stretching. The fear means you're doing something important.

So . . . fear is good. It's not the mind-killer (that's for all you Dune fans out there). It's the mind-grower. Okay. I'm embracing fear.

I'm also trying to embrace vulnerability. I'm not so crazy about vulnerability either. Sometimes being vulnerable is just asking to be hurt and I don't care for pain. If I could spend my entire life encased by the Tempurpedic topper on my bed, I totally would.

Vulnerability means putting out there something tender and fragile that's important to me. This book that I'm trying to write is important to me. I care about what I'm trying to show people in this novel. Exposing the ideals that I want to live by is a little scary because I'm also showing why it's so very hard to do that. It's what will make this book interesting and not preachy and not pedantic.

Anybody else have a project like that out there? Something that's scaring the pants off you, but feels imperative at the same time?


Stephanie Doyle said...

Great post Eileen! Even if you did try to hide it.

I totally relate. I've left my comfort zone and instead to run back to safety after having been out of it... I'm going out even further.

I feel like Katniss going deeper into the woods to hunt. Only I'm not as brave or cool.

And I've been learning a lot about vulnerability from the Bachelor. His first time around - he had his "walls" up. After 3 years of therapy - he thinks he's finally ready to find and accept love.

So all you need is some therapy - and 30 more hot women (men are replaceable here) and you too can be vulnerable.

Sinead M said...

Great post, Eileen. And Stephanie is right, 30 hot men would make the vulnerability seem so much better.

But I do believe fear makes us better. So this book will probably be the best you've ever written.

Molly O'Keefe said...

I like the idea of fear as an opening mechanism rather than a closing one. My comfort level in almost everything in my life - from grocery store, to clothes, to activites, to say nothing of my writing - feels like it's getting smaller all the time, mostly because I'm scared. I'm going to take a page from your book Eileen and do some shit that scares me... like try on clothes....

Stephanie Doyle said...

Molly - if you're about to go on a clothes bender... watch What Not to Wear on TLC.

WOW totally changed my attitude. It's about rethinking everything and rather than saying "I dont' look good in this" or "I don't fit in this like I want to..."

They make you turn it around and say. "These clothes are the problem." This outfit - isn't wrong - it's just wrong for me.

Then you keep trying until you do find something that works rather than getting frustrated and huffing out of the store after the first two items didn't work.

Really changed my whole attitude on shopping for clothes.

Shoes... I've never had an issue with.

Eileen said...

Whoa whoa whoa. I was talking about fear of professional failure, not something truly terrifying like trying on bathing suits!

You chicks are crayzee! :-)

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