In Others’ Words: Lose the Fear

Creatives 2015 The word “wrong” can stop us in our tracks, can’t it?

String “wrong” together with the words “You are” or “You could be” — and well, that forms a major roadblock to forward motion … and to creativity.

In our pursuit of creativity, we are going to get it wrong. We’ll find ourselves staring at a dead end … or discover that the oh-so-alluring rabbit trail leads straight to a ditch full of muddy water. We’ll pour our time, our effort, our talent — and yes, our money — into pursuing our dreams — and despit all our hard work, we’ll fail.

Now what?

Well, now we try again. We tear the word “failure” off our efforts and figure out a way to re-envision the dream. To recreate it. To be brave again.

Being creative — has it scared me at times? Oh, yeah. But it has also expanded my life, my heart, in ways I never imagined. My prayer has become “More, Lord” — not in a selfish “gimme more” kind of way. No. “More, Lord” in a “make me more brave, make me more creative” kind of way. “More, Lord” in a “help me lose the fear and dream things, do things I never imagined” kind of way.

In Your Words: How are you living a creative life? What do you do to lose your fear of being wrong?

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  1. February 9, 2015, 7:33 am   /  Reply

    Well, I start by not thinking of myself as creative. When i write fiction, I’m a tradesperson, using a skill-and-knowledge set to put together characters, a story arc, and a ‘filling’ of narrative descriptive prose.

    Sounds inspiring, eh?

    The ‘marketing’ part…same thing. I know that it’s a competitive marketplace, and for what I choose to write – my “moral mission” – the chances of finding an agent, much less a publisher, are slim.

    Fortunately, self-publishing, and “creating a need” for my work is an option. I’m trying to do the latter with my blog, and working to make sure that my work is of the highest quality possible…with endless edits.

    it’s all a process, with clearly defined steps, and the only way being ‘wrong;’ enters the mix is if I either abandon my core values, fail to adequately understand the marketplace, or write stuff that no one is going to want to read. All of those are controllable.

    So there’s no problem.


    • February 9, 2015, 11:28 am   /  Reply

      This, from a man who builds airplanes and builds a cart for dog so he can run around the yard with the other dogs … all creative. Yes, I know they take plans (measurements, i.e. measure twice, cut once), but the airplane started with the dreams of a very creative man, yes? And the doggie cart started with you dreaming more for that little dog …
      And your living day to day is you conquering fear, wouldn’t you say?

      • February 9, 2015, 10:09 pm   /  Reply

        Took me a rather long and physically shattering day to get back here…but yes. You’re right. never quite thought of it that way.

  2. February 9, 2015, 7:36 am   /  Reply

    Sometimes I “stall” for a while, but my best analogy is it’s like a car trying to make it up a fairly steep hill. Sometimes I can’t make it up the first time, or the first few times. But if I keep at it and “rock” the car a little, as I’ve actually done in challenging mud and ice in Canada, get a good run at it and try, and if I don’t make it that time, get another run at it and try again–you get the picture. The effort and process are worth it and worthy of respect, even if the exact desired prize is never achieved.

    • February 9, 2015, 11:29 am   /  Reply

      Piggybacking on your car analogy, sometimes to get that car unstalled or unstuck, we need the help of others to give us a push or help dig us out, yes?

      • Delores Topliff
        February 9, 2015, 3:59 pm   /  Reply


  3. February 9, 2015, 8:02 am   /  Reply

    I imagine many that I know wish I had a fear of being wrong because often I’m too quick to jump in with an answer. 🙂 Fear is a very small word in my vocabulary. I have a healthy respect for a lot of things, but I don’t dwell on the fear part. Otherwise I probably would never have submitted my manuscripts to editors and agents. Great post.

    • February 9, 2015, 11:30 am   /  Reply

      You know, Pat, you have never struck me as a woman who is afraid of anything.

  4. February 9, 2015, 8:27 am   /  Reply

    I’ve spent some time dealing with the fear of being wrong. When it comes to crafting things, there really isn’t a wrong way to put together a scrapbook, or create cards. With writing, I came to it so late that I knew the best way to learn was by being teachable, which means accepting re-direction from those who know more than me. Sometimes, it’s taken me a little time to absorb suggestions, but with a little time, I can see the benefit of friends’ and mentors’ words and implement them in my writing.

    • February 9, 2015, 11:31 am   /  Reply

      You are teachable — and your willingness to learn has paid off in concrete ways (think awards!!) as well as growing in the craft and developing your voice. Even more, you are now teaching others. A beautiful thing, yes?

  5. susan
    February 9, 2015, 9:19 am   /  Reply

    LOVE this, Beth. I have learned and lived this in my pursuit of writing. From rejections to scrapping out thousands of words and restarting a story. I’m learning to try and embrace it…but it’s certainly not easy. Just a part of the process:)

    • February 9, 2015, 11:32 am   /  Reply

      It is a part of the process, Susan — and one of the most important, if we want to see our dreams come true — and you are!!!

  6. February 9, 2015, 9:24 pm   /  Reply

    Beth, I love the prayer “More, Lord.” So simple, yet so powerful. I’m putting it on my desk.

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