Tag Archives: fear

The Fear of Being Forgotten


One wonderful facet of blogging is reading about someone else’s life and thoughts, then allowing what I read to affect me, change me, prod me.

I had a brief e-conversation with the creator of the blog Rendezvous with Renee recently about a quote I borrowed from one of her pieces. In our exchange, she referred me to another of her posts. I have provided the link to it below.

The Fear of Being Forgotten.

The title of it got me thinking about my own similar fear. I figure I have about 20 productive years, at most, ahead of me. Twenty years are nothing. The time goes in a flash. Don’t believe me? Look at that child of yours nearing college age or finishing college. The span of their lifetime is a blur. It’s gone by so fast.

Anyway, I started thinking about my writing ambition. I have had it my whole life. Over the course of years, I kept saying about writing professionally, “Not yet, not yet. I haven’t lived enough. I don’t have anything to say.”

Then that thought changed. Now I fret that I won’t have time to get the words out of me. I fret that life will get in the way, and my stories won’t get told.

Yes, I fear I’ll be forgotten.

Oh, I know that I’ll be remembered by friends, family and children who outlive me. But when they are gone, then what? Poof. I’m gone for good. Especially in an age of digital data. There will be no paintings of me that pass from generation to generation, hung in the family library or den. Photographs of me saved on-line or in home computers will disappear. My e-books-to-be will corrupt in an outdated e-reader.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, twinkle in my father’s eye to twinkle in the starry sky. But who will be looking for the miniscule twinkle? Who will care?

At some level, it is the fear of being forgotten that motivates me to write.

Quote on the Eve of the Second Tuesday in November


It’s time for a bit o’ the American humorist Mark Twain. Enjoy!

  • Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.
  • Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
  • Barring that natural expression  of villainy which we all have, the man looked honest enough.
  • . . .one of the first achievements of the legislature was to institute a ten thousand dollar agricultural fair to show off forty dollars’ worth of pumpkins. . .

Surgery Imminent


Today was the day for hubby’s surgery. However, a patient in more dire condition than hubby bumped him from his spot. His doctor courteously asked if hubby minded. He did, but the humanitarian side of him was gracious. How do you say no to a man who faces imminent death? You don’t. You yield with grace. Your own heart still beats.

In another day or two, a spot will open for hubby.

Friends and family have called, e-mailed, or traveled hundreds of miles to be here to offer support. Hubby and I feel loved.

I know when he wheels away into surgery, I will worry and wrestle with a dozen other feelings. Over the press of fear, I am choosing reason–at least in this moment. He has great medical people helping him.

So on the eve of surgery, I write. To keep sane. To focus on something else. To pretend everything is all right. Which it is, or will be.

Haiku

The missing started

the moment you turned your back.

It felt like forever.

Why Write?


Why read? Why learn and soak in information from every source you can? Why write? Why share what you learn? Because:

Knowledge is the antidote to fear.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Casting Aside Fear


WordPress blogger Veehcirra quotes Steve Jobs in her post “The Top 10 Regrets in Life by Those About To Die.” Although Jobs references death in the quote, I see his remark as sharing a tactic he developed for himself to shed fear, to choose what is important. See what you think:

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

–Steve Jobs

FEAR OF FAILURE


Reading the comments over the past few days, I realize that many writers share a common malady: fear of failure.

Lee Warren, D.D. writes ” The most powerful forces known to man are not nuclear weapons, nor nature’s awesome wonders, such as the might of an earthquake, the power of the sun, or mastery of a hurricane, but the thoughts and ideas of the mind. ”

If the thoughts of the mind are fear driven, the power of the thoughts can be negative. For example, professional sports teams pay psychological specialists to work with athletes who are choking in the game because of fear.

Performance anxiety is common across a multitude of professions. Singers and stage actors often describe “butterflies” before a performance. However, when the fear grows, it becomes stage fright. It can stop the presentation in its tracks.

Writers fear reader rejection or critical censure. Self-doubt stymies creative process. A manuscript collects dust because the author is afraid to finish it. Fear incapacitates.

Buckminster Fuller wrote, “Whatever humans have learned had to be learned as a consequence of trial and error experience. Humans learn through mistakes.”

It is possible to move past fear. It helps to put fear in perspective. Try saying these positive statements out loud to yourself:

  • I know that everyone feels fear of failing from time to time. I can learn to control my fear.
  • Failing at something doesn’t make me a failure. I learn from my mistakes. Learning from mistakes is the sign of a successful person.
  • I am courageous for expressing myself.
  • I am entitled to my opinion.
  • If what I tried the first time didn’t work, I can fix it. Or I can try something different.

“There is no failure. Only feedback.” –Robert Allen

Feedback is non-threatening. It helps us key in on how well we are communicating. It is the gauge of how we are doing in our growth process as writers.

When my daughter was a teenager, she talked about her career dreams. As is typical of a child’s mind, she believed she would start out at the CEO level of performance.  I explained that life is a learning curve. We have to start somewhere and then work our way up through skill development, practice and perseverance. We have to pay our dues.

As authors, we have to start somewhere. We write. We let others read it. We listen to the feedback from critical readers. We take the information provided to hone our skills. We dare and extend ourselves to practice, practice, practice. We write something. We let others read it. And the circle goes round and round. Eventually, we get more positive feedback than we did before. We keep pushing forward, paying our dues.

That’s the way it gets done. One written page at a time.