The Four-Letter Word I Fear

The Four-Letter Word I Fear

For the past several months I’ve been in a slump. Now understand, I’ve been in slumps before and always found a way to work my way out of it, but this nose-dive in my creativity felt different. Was different. I found myself redirecting my energy to anything but sitting down at the keyboard and working on the story I started several months ago. Even shopping took precedent over my work and if you know me well, you know I HATE shopping. I didn’t allow myself to think about writing. Even reading took a backseat to everything else.

It wasn’t until this week when I scolded a young co-worker at work for not applying for a job in her dream field because she was afraid (Of what? She didn’t know.) that realized I was doing the same thing. I wasn’t attempting to write, anything, including this blog for today out of fear. Fear that the next story plot wouldn’t be as good as my last work. Fear that writing the next book would take longer than the last few books combine because my home life has changed. Fear that my readers wouldn’t connect to what I might write.

So where did this fear come from? I honestly don’t know. It crept up on me like a thief and put my creativity in a strangle hold. Fear is an awful emotion. I don’t like it. No one does.

Now that I understand what has occurred and I’ve whacked my head a couple of times for allowing fear to rob me of joy, I plan to get back to work on my next project, today. I intend to set the example for my co-worker, my children, and my grandchildren by continuing to work at my dream. I will live the life I love.


11/5/18 8:00 update. Change in attitude.

    My plan had been to run to the vet for meds and for groceries this morning. (I love to get things I hate doing out of the way first thing before starting things I really want to do.) But I said NO! Those errands can wait until later. This is what I’ve been doing for some time. I need to change my process. Instead I’m updating this blog, then adding finishing touches to another that I wrote last evening and then I’m going to pick out my new characters photos and start creating a new story.   


20 responses to “The Four-Letter Word I Fear”

  1. Heather McCollum says:

    Hi Autumn!
    Thank you for the reminder not to let fear stop me. I’ve been struggling with a book I’m writing that is due to my editor in 2 weeks. I’ve never not finished a book on time. I’ve never not loved a book. But this book is giving me fits. I’m afraid that my editor and readers won’t like it as much as my others, because it is different from what I normally write.

    So your post is perfect timing for me. I just need to write the story, make it the best I can, and send it out into the world without letting fear hold me back.

    So glad you’ve recognized the fear. Now to push it behind you (something that can still be difficult to do). Hugs, Heather

    • Difficult yes! Good thing I love a challenge.

      Thinking about what others will think about our work is muse-toxin. We started on this path because we felt we had something wonderful to share and found joy creating the gift, and that is what our stories are. Gifts to the world. Later, some might think it is as appealing as an ugly Christmas sweater, but so what. Really so what. Creating it gave you joy, and there are those who love ugly Christmas sweaters, right?

      So write with joy, Heather. You’ve got this.

  2. Anne Marie says:

    Great blog, Autumn. It’s so easy to let all kinds of things get in the way of the writing. I plan to put writing at the top of my list today. 🙂

  3. Hope Ramsay says:

    So does that mean we’ll see more of you in the chat room? Because, you know, we miss you. And yes, I know, I’ve been AWOL on the blog for months and months. I haven’t even commented. But your blog has inspired me to (try to) turn over a new leaf and comment more often and maybe sign up for a blog. Because I’ve been in a total life slump, with good reason, but that’s the thing…life is scary sometimes. And sometimes all we can do is grit our teeth and just try to show up the best we can.

    • Oh, Hope. I’m so glad to hear from you. You’ve been in my thoughts, as has other Rubies who have lost their loves this year. Grief is a dark hole, but with the love of family and friends we can find ourselves again, and even want more again. Hard lesson to learn.

      So to answer your question, yes. I’m going to head into the chatroom in a few minutes because I’ve missed the connection with others of like mind. (((HUGS)))

      I look forward to reading your blogs, because lady, you have a gift, teaching others.

  4. Rita Henuber says:

    Nice blog Autumn. Fear is a universal human emotion and it is powerful. It’s an instinctual thing. You see the guy in a hockey mask holding an 18 in machete running at you and fear kicks in, yells run and you run. This is good. But that internal brain fear is not so good. It really sneaks up on me. It can be paralyzing. For me it comes hand and hand with a lack of confidence. I’m not sure about doing something and then I’m afraid to do it. With confidence I can do anything. Off to find where I left that dang confidence thing. 🙂

    • You are a very strong and talented woman. Caring too. Don’t ever forget that. Sometimes we simply need to hear how others perceive us to regain the confidence that we once had. So I will say this to you again, you are the strong, caring and very talented person who has written wonderful stories. Please continue being who you are and sharing your ideas with the world.

  5. Elizabeth Langston says:

    Thank you for this post. The fear-monster has been chasing me too. I think I trust myself, trust my voice…but fear is good at adding back the doubts.

    Thankfully, my beta reader gave me good feedback–and I have something concrete to do. The timing was great.

    • Yeah for beta readers. And good for you for releasing your work to a reader. Sometimes fear keeps us from doing that and hearing their feedback is exactly what we could need. KUDOS, sister!

      Sharing is good. Sharing helps not only us, but others as well.

  6. Gwyn says:

    Way to go! There’s a song, Fear is a Liar, where the last line of the chorus advises “Cast your fear into the fire ’cause fear, he is a liar.” It’s true; fear is an unrecognized or unacknowledged roadblock for many. Time for me to suck it up and move forward. Thanks!

  7. Tamara Hogan says:

    Great post, Autumn. I’ve been struggling, too.

    An already “slow” writer, I’ve been in an epic slump for at least half a year. Fear hasn’t been the issue, per se; I think between America’s fraught political climate and #metoo, I simply…hit the wall. Exhausted, energy utterly depleted, I’d open my manuscript, stare at it blankly, then close it again.

    I finally did what I’d advise a friend to do in the same situation: I cut myself some slack, and took a break. I didn’t touch my WIP for over a month, and didn’t beat myself up about it.

    Then, one morning last week, I woke up raring to write! I don’t want to jinx anything, but I’ve had six great writing days in a row. I’m interested in my story again, which is such a relief!

    TL;DR – Friends, take a break if you need one. If you let yourself lay fallow for a bit, you might emerge feeling rejuvenated. 🙂

    • That exactly the way I felt for a while Just taking a break because I’ve been going so fast for so long. I didn’t beat myself up either, but the nagging inside kept saying there was another reason I wasn’t writing. As I said, it took my words to another to make me realize what.

      So far today has been a good day. I hope the mood continues. (((HUGS)))

  8. Autumn – Brilliant post. We all need that reminder not to let fear get the better of us and KUDOS to you for breaking out of your rut and back into a creative space. YOU CAN DO IT!!! You’ve so got this. I’ve been battling through my own insecurities, so thank you for the reminder that we have to have confidence in ourselves and not let fear stop us.

    • Thanks, Vivi. Something wonderful happened to me in the last few days, especially yesterday. Fun RC characters started talking to me. Boy the are as opposite as winter and summer. In fact, I think I’ll name her Summer XXXX and He will be XXXX Winter. LOL

      I would love to talk to you about the it sometime. Thanks for the support!

  9. Addison Fox says:

    AJ – what a wonderful post!!! Wishing you wonderful creative time full of joy. The world needs more Autumn Jordon stories – I know I’m happily anticipating the next one!!


  10. Thanks for this post, and all the comments. Love the saying that fear is a liar, something to keep in mind when it sneaks into my psyche. Looking forward to reading your next book!


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