To be brave is to fear…

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration ~ Frank Herbert

That little quote from Dune is one of my favourites, and I have on occasion repeated to myself when I faced a hurdle or two along the way in life. Because that’s often what I do when I face something that feels for a moment or two overwhelming or for more than a moment or two. For a day, or a week, or months on end. I find solace and inspiration in those most loyal of friends, books and their authors. It’s astounding how a well-placed quote drawn from the depths of my memory can change my perspective or push me to get past that wall of self-doubt.

“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.” ~ John Wayne

I’ve talked a lot about self-doubt, in the last few weeks. I’ve also had a couple of conversations about it which made me dwell on the subject a while. My own bouts of self-doubt and there are many, are buried behind masks of self-confidence I don’t feel and abiding cynicism I don’t really have, which I present to the world as the personality I want them to believe in. Because I always feel that the moment I let anyone see how utterly terrified I feel at that moment then the whole house of cards will collapse in under its own weight leaving me bare to the world.

“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.” ~ C. JoyBell C.

The bravest people I know, are those who are most afraid. They are also the most inspiring, and if I were better at expressing myself at times, I would tell them so at the moment they perhaps need to hear it the most. But without a keyboard in front of me, I am on occasion, not the best at choosing the right words to say. Masks of self-confidence, masks of cynicism, masks that some perceive as arrogance, masks of joviality, masks that keep me unapproachable because it’s safer that way. So many bloody masks at times I forget who I am.

  “There is a great difference between being fearless and being brave.” ~ Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

So here is the thing, a few years ago now I wrote a book. Its nothing like any of my other books, but it was the first book I wrote. I wrote it from scratch in a little over five weeks, and a year later, after much editing and much self-doubt, I published it. That, I will admit, is a story oft told by me. The story I don’t tell is the reason I wrote it. I wrote it because one of the bravest people I know told me to do so. She did that in a conversation I would be utterly amazed if she remembers. But a five-minute conversation in a market place with a stranger and one thing she said to me made me write my first novel.

Just write it, don’t be afraid of doing so, it just write it, and finish a first draft, and see where you go from there  ~ The author in the marketplace

So I did… The moral of this all, well there isn’t a moral to be true, it is simply an observation. I faced a fear I would have told everyone I didn’t have but knew behind my masks was there. The fear of finish a novel and discovering after all the years spent writing but never finishing anything were because I was, as I feared deep down, incapable of writing anything worthwhile or worth reading. I did that because one of the bravest people I know told me to ‘Just do it’ despite not knowing me at all at the time. I conquered my fear, well, one of them.

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration ~ Frank Herbert

And so I am back to Frank, dear Frank, and that quote I love. I love it, but I know its balderdash, fear is not the mind killer, fear is not the little-death that brings oblivion and balls to anyone who tells you not to fear. Fear is a superpower. Fear is that thing you face and beat each day. Because the bravest I know, are those who live with self-doubt, who feel overwhelmed at times, struggle with fear and face it all the same. The one who feels it, face it and push through anyway. They are the brave, they are inspirational, they are the reason books get written.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ~ Oscar Wilde

In short, such people are heroes, so I thought I would take a moment, tell them so. From behind a keyboard naturally, because I am much better at expressing the important things when I type… And my hero, when it comes to being a novelist, well it’s the author in the marketplace. Because without her inspiring me to write that first novel, I doubt I would have ever done so. So to my friend, the author in the marketplace, I offer one final quote, from another awesome woman, one final quote and a piece of advice worth taking.

stay affraid

This entry was posted in amwriting, depression, goodnews, indie, indiewriter, mental-health, opinion, pointless things of wonderfulness, quotes, self-publishing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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