Low Level Fear Can Undermine Your Progress

We’re back in Los Angeles now, but there is almost nothing about our future that is known. I can deal with that lots of times, but I don’t deal well with stressful situations when I’m not sleeping well. Saturday it seemed like I could only think of the downsides and the negatives in our situation. Half of everything I felt I needed to get my To Do list done is on a ship in Sydney Harbour. John talked me through my fears trying to help me pinpoint the problem so we could find some solutions. Then the next day we went to our old church, Bel Air Presbyterian, and the sermon was about anxiety and getting around it.


I am always amazed when God steps in and shakes my shoulder to get my attention. Because we have friends who go to both the 9am and 11am services at church and we haven’t seen them for a couple years, we stayed for both services…so I got a double dose of the message. Probably a good thing.  🙂

So Monday I started my week with some time away with John in Palm Springs. My goal was to spend the week working on the print version of Little Miss Lovesick, getting some writing done on my next book and a short story coming out in an anthology, and resting. I would love to end the week with the feeling that I’d caught up on my sleep! By the end of the day yesterday, I already felt better and had made a dent in my To Do list. Now all I can think about is how to make this letting-go-of-anxiety twist an intentional part of my career in 2012.

Next year is leap year – we have a February 29th in 2012. I’ve been thinking about making it my leap of faith year. How can I put that into concrete terms? What can I intentionally do differently next year? And how will that affect my readership? Am I willing to risk losing some blog readers and potential book readers by not only being myself in an even more transparent way, but focusing on taking faith-based risks in my career? For a whole year?

The thought is both scary and exciting. Which feeling will win?  🙂

If you’re also thinking about next year and what goals you want to make for 2012, you might want to consider joining me in my online class. I’m again leading “Going the Distance: Goal Setting and Time Management for the Writer” for the Orange County Chapter of RWA. You can read about the class and sign up for it on that page. I’d love to work together to make our 2012 goals purposeful and doable.

I’m a member of the Dark Side Down Under blog, Australian and New Zealand writers who write speculative fiction of various kinds. Last week I wrote post titled, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Getting Published about how I started writing romantic comedies and how I ended up self-publishing one. You might find it fun to see how things worked for me. It was fun to get it all down on paper, so I decided to re-post it this Friday on the OCC RWA blog, too.

Well, I’m feeling much better than on Saturday. I’m sure letting go of the fear of the unknown future went a long way toward getting a lot done already this week. I’m learning a lot about my new career path (self-publishing) from Aaron Shepard with his books, Aiming at Amazon, POD for Profit and Perfect Pages. Those books – and some research trips to bookstores – are helping me figure out how to make the best choices in getting Little Miss Lovesick into print. It’s been tough to focus on doing the best job no matter how long it takes rather than making sure the book is available for sale in time for Christmas orders. But maybe if I don’t let fear influence my decisions, I’ll reap greater rewards in the end.

4 thoughts on “Low Level Fear Can Undermine Your Progress”

  1. Aw, thanks, Jamie! You have no idea how much that means to me! My business background tells me to do things “this” way to be professional, but like with a novel when you get writer’s block, it’s often a sign you aren’t going the right direction or that something is being forced that would work better another way.

    I need to talk to Shonna and Stephanie about what we as a group want for RFW, but whether it’s here or on my own web site (which has been stagnant for the same reason – “Does anyone even want to know what I’m thinking about??”), I’m going to have to find a place to be even more myself or I might burst. LOL!

    Thanks for the encouragement to find my path! And good luck with following yours, too! 🙂

  2. Kitty,

    I recently went through a similar situation–contemplating what I really wanted out of my writing and my readership. In fact, I took several months off to figure it out and I decided to follow my heart a little more and the traditional path a little less. When I came back, I felt so much lighter and happier and I may have lost a few blog followers along the way but the ones I’ve kept and the ones I’ve gained mean so much to me because it’s honest.

    I’m looking forward to following that path in the year to come and I hope you find the right path for you too. I’ve been a fan of RFW for years and I’m not going anywhere. 🙂

  3. Hi Jane! Thanks for the encouraging note! I’m so glad to be able to be a part of helping other people, and it’s amazing how much that helps me, too. 🙂 Looking forward to having you int he class again!

  4. Kitty, so glad things are getting easier for you after the big move! I love those gifts from God that arrive just when we need them most.

    I’ll be signing up for your January course, unless something huge intervenes.

    Last year’s course was massively beneficial for me.Even though I’ve submitted less to publishers this year than last year, and all my goals went’t out the window by March, but it was one of the best writing courses I’ve done for the insight and self-knowledge I gained.

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