This week's question is in honor of DIVERGENT's movie release.
Question of the Week
March 23, 2014
HOW DO YOU FACE YOUR FEARS?
LISA GAIL GREEN: My hero, Libba Bray, once said, "Write what scares you." That quickly became my motto (and no not just because I sometimes write scary things). I continually try to stretch myself and go where it's uncomfortable for me emotionally because I believe that's what helps me grow as a writer and what makes my work ultimately worth reading. I've learned over the years not to dwell on the eventuality of something frightening. It's like ripping off that bandaid. Just do it without giving yourself time to think. You can always change it in revisions.
MARTINA: That list? It ALL scares me, because the common denominator is that I could fail. I hate failure. It took me a long time to figure out that I am so afraid of failing that I seem to subconsciously sabotage myself to have an excuse, a reason, why it wasn’t actually me who failed when I’d put in every possible effort.
This author gig is all a leap of faith, but you know what? It’s not DIVERGENT that I’m going to be thinking about every time I have to push myself out of my comfort zone in the next months before (and after!) COMPULSION comes out. It’s Jennifer Lawrence picking herself up off the stairs at the Oscars last year, or tripping this year. She gets back up, she laughs, and she goes on to do her best work. That’s all I can do. Focus on the work, not my nerves, not what people are going to think, not what’s going to happen.
COMPULSION is my training wheels novel, the first one out of the gate. I’m scared spitless. But right now, I have to focus on writing Book Two and making it as good as I can. I tripped over the dog yesterday (literally) and went splat while talking on the phone to a #1 New York Times bestselling author. It was in my own house, but still. I’m going to fall on my face. I may as well accept it. And eventually, I’ll have splatted enough that I’ll just laugh like Jennifer and move on. :) It’s funny, because this is one of the themes in COMPULSION too. I just never realized who much it would become a theme in my own life.
ALYSSA HAMILTON: Because I'm not an author, and in fact want to be on the other side of that career and work in a publishing house, I'm going to take a bit of a spin on this question. I think for me right now, my biggest fear is leaving school soon and actually going out into the "real" world and looking for a job. I don't live in a place where publishing is centred, so I want to move and that is terrifying. I think what's getting me through that fear though is the excitement of actually working towards what I want to do with my career and life in general.
CLARA KENSIE: I am dauntless when it comes to pitching, presenting workshops, and live readings. Those things don’t scare me at all. One thing that does scare me is that tiny little send button on my email. When I’m done with my manuscript and need to send it to my critique partners, agent, or editor, I attach it to an email, write a nice little note, address it to the recipient… and freeze. My finger hovers over that send key and I… cannot… press it. I went through this with both books in the RUN TO YOU series, from the early drafts to my critique partners through the final, copy-edited draft to my publisher. Now I’m writing a new manuscript, and I’m sure it will happen again. But. When I freeze with my finger over the send key, I eventually thaw out enough to look at my screen saver, which is a vacuuming alligator (I explained this right here at Adventures last Thursday), and I get my courage back. Then I hit send.
Another thing that pumps me up with confidence and courage? Music. When I’m facing a difficult or unpleasant task, I listen to two songs: Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen and Defying Gravity from the Wicked soundtrack. Those songs never fail to lift me up and make me feel invincible.
YOUR TURN: What scares you? How do you find the courage to face your fears?