In Portland we can almost see the springtime but some of us who have developed allergies are fully able to smell it (until we can't smell it).
It's fair to say that I've been moving forward with my life as a writer in bold strides as well as fair to say I've done this while feeling a not insignificant amount of fear & doubt as I move towards the life that I really want. The "Good Life" seems to be much more anxiety ridden than I had ever imagined, because living it, I realize that I have a whole lot more to lose.
As the heavy thoughts process, I take a moment to look at pictures of kittens with mustaches. This calms me down immensely.
Last week, I had an interview that I did with Liz Prato--local short story writer, essayist, and novelist--get published on the Oregon Arts Watch site. After doing it, I was thrilled, and after it want up on the website, terror, abject terror. What if she doesn't like it? Will she reject me? Will the community reject me? If someone did an interview with me where I was humble and vulnerable and open, would I like it?
Assumption #1: Writers write to feel human, but they are able to control and mediate that experience with the revision process. Assumption #2: Good interviews show any person being human. They trust the interviewer/writer to mediate that experience well. Conclusion: Publishing and editing author interviews is bound cause some tension. A friend said yesterday, That's why famous people have publicists, Judith.
I think she liked it alright. Who knows? She reposted it on Facebook at least. All I can do is just get real. Feel afraid and then look at animals when I'm too upset. Keep doing author interviews every month, and to keep learning how to ask better questions.
To lean forward and ask, What are you afraid of? On listening and hearing, answer, Yes, me too.
Till next time...
Here's a bonus sonnet by A.E. Stallings from the Poetry Foundation website to contemplate fear by.
Fear of Happiness
BY A. E. STALLINGS
Looking back, it’s something I’ve always had:
As a kid, it was a glass-floored elevator
I crouched at the bottom of, my eyes squinched tight,
Or staircase whose gaps I was afraid I’d slip through,
Though someone always said I’d be all right--
Just don’t look down or See, it’s not so bad
(The nothing rising underfoot). Then later
The high-dive at the pool, the tree-house perch,
Ferris wheels, balconies, cliffs, a penthouse view,
The merest thought of airplanes. You can call
It a fear of heights, a horror of the deep;
But it isn’t the unfathomable fall
That makes me giddy, makes my stomach lurch,
It’s that the ledge itself invents the leap.