As a writer who hasn’t been writing…

Fear, Monetization, Cash, Emotional Journey
Artist Unknown

My relationship with fear has been a toxic one. Extremely abusive and invasive by nature. He makes his way into the cracks of my confidence like a silent gas that can’t be traced. Holding me hostage in place. Don’t misunderstand me by thinking that this means that there is no use for fear. Instinctual fear can save your life. I am a survivor due to this instinct. That gut feeling is oftentimes right. However, that gut meter must be cleaned often, or else we begin to act in fear as opposed to proceeding to move past it with higher understanding. 


We’ve all seen it. Traumatic responses leave people living life in loops of similar circumstances. Same feelings with different characters and situations. Fear bleeds on everything and like blood, it’s hard to clean. Its stain can further take us down a spiral that materializes itself in all aspects of our lives.  


Let me be frank, I am not writing from a place where fear no longer exists. I am not speaking to you from the “other side,” but rather directly in tandem with it. Fear sits on my back more often than I’d like to admit. However, not in the way that you may imagine. The truth is that every day I go without writing is a fear response. Couldn’t quite pinpoint why I was having so much anxiety around writing. Looking at empty pages like jail cell bars placed horizontally in front of me leaving me to watch the days pass as I still haven’t released anything.


“To write it down makes it real and what if I’m materializing something I don’t want to manifest by putting too much thought into it?”


“What if it sucks?”


“What if I hurt ________, let them ever read it?”   


An orchestra of fearful thoughts plays in the back of my mind in harmony with the anxious thoughts that further make me question myself.


“You don’t have a day job. It’s all on you.”


“Who are you to think you could do that?”


“You’re alone out here. No one cares about you if you’re not producing. Never forget it.”


Granted… my anxious thoughts all have valid points, but I do know that it isn’t healthy to let them take precedence in my mind. Somewhere along the way, I began internalizing every “tough love” statement ever made to me and as a result… grew an imposter syndrome that has led me to self-sabotage time and time again.


The truly crazy part about fear is that you can feel extremely empowered and equally fearful. Funny how these emotions affect our actions and our physical bodies. The mysterious aches in the shoulder, the furrow of your brow that now lays permanently traced into your face over time. I’ve hoarded my work for years in fear of being judged, being too seen, being too loud while being myself. Sure, I’m loud without having to try so what if I acted in full accordance with what I really feel inside? Sheesh… could you even imagine? My future is so bright that it gave me anxiety. How do you know if you can bear the weight of who you really want to become? 


It’s a special type of pain that makes you feel deranged because you know that it’s irrational, but you do it anyway. Whatever “it” may be for you. In my case, I keep quiet when I want to speak up about major issues. I apologize even when I don’t think I did anything wrong to avoid confrontation. I “let go” of things that people do/say that hurt me only to give people chances that I deeply wish the rest of the world would give me. All the work I do with self-referral can’t keep me from doing it. I watch it happen like a rerun. I love myself, but can I really like someone that is living so afraid… of themselves? 


Fear goes against all the things I preach. He beats me into submission to keep me from ever really feeling ready to fully pursue anything. I just float from thing to thing easily because I’m good at everything. It may sound weird to admit that in the same breath, but somehow… my ability to learn and adapt quickly has only played a bandaid to the internal wounds. I’ve managed to cover it for long enough and I’m just tired. Physically, mentally, and emotionally tired.  


In hopes to shake this fear, I began writing randomly, on anything. I felt that if I kept writing, even if only on the back of a receipt, even if only one sentence or phrase… it counted towards my creative capital. At least the one in my head. I started in 2012 and the habit has evolved over the years. Obviously, it’s been a situationship that has evolved on the side, but I’m growing more committed.  


Today, I barely write for myself as I’ve been more focused on survival than my craft. I’ve grown exhausted with surviving. What’s the point of all this internal work if you still feel unfulfilled and overlooked? There is none.


So on this day, December 14th, 2020, I let my fear take a smaller place in my mind and make room for the woman I’ve been missing. Once upon a time, I thought I was free, but I was trapped by the ignorance of my suffering. Wounds I left infected. Now that much healing has happened, I’d like to see how freedom REALLY feels without fear grappling me by the ankles. This is the beginning of a new journey. You’re welcome to ride along.