On Writing Conferences and Courage

Mondays are hard. But a Monday after a writing conference is especially difficult.

This past weekend I attended my first SCBWI SpringMingle Conference. After a whirlwind weekend of writing tips, trends and inspiration, this is how my brain feels:

Butterfly BrainSeriously, how can I be expected to function as a productive member of society with my little gray cells in this flittery fluttery state? *Sigh*

Anyhoo…there’s something else I want to discuss. Briefly. Before I have to drag myself out of bed and back to the mundane details of my weekday, workday existence.

During a fabulous presentation on her Fairytale Life, Illustrator Ruth Sanderson casually mentioned that she has a fear of public speaking (something you never would have guessed while listening to her). In fact, she wants to throw up every time she has to get up in front of an audience. But she gets up there and speaks anyway.

I think someone somewhere once said that’s the true definition of courage – when you fear something, but you do it anyway.

While I don’t fear public speaking, I have plenty of other fears to keep me awake at night. Most of them are pretty standard, silly little things. Some feel like gargantuan beasts that like to sit on my chest in the wee hours of the morning, sucking away all the oxygen in the bedroom. One of my most horrible, terrible, pressing fears is the next book in my Star Wars Fangirl Trilogy.

To be clear, I’m not saying that I have a certain fear that I’m transforming, by the amazing alchemy of writerly magic, into an inspirational topic for my next book. Nope. That would be healthy and productive. What I mean to say is I’m afraid of writing my next fangirl book.

There. I said it.

Sometimes We Strike Back is a darker story than NSLA. The narrative voice of this novel has some serious anger management issues. There’s suicide. There’s GLBT issues. The bullying gets far, far worse and my main character gives in to the Dark Side.

Oh yes, this story scares me. And yet I have to write it. I do.

What fears are you challenging yourself to overcome this year?

photo credit: zenonline via photopin cc

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