(in 1994), I was fairly new to computers. I was an English major in college, but I stubbornly refused to learn the computer. I wrote about a million papers using a typewriter and gallons of white-out (shudder) until my computer-science major fiance forced me into using the computer. I couldn't believe I had waited so long. That sure made my last semester of college easier.
But a couple of years later when I started writing in earnest, I would sit at our computer and the monitor would loom over me, just daring me to put words on the screen. Mocking me. Scaring me. I think it was like a 16" monitor or something, but to me it was giant. I remember my husband wanting to get a bigger monitor and I about fainted at the thought. (Yeah, no wonder I switched to writing by hand.)
Of course, the monitor was only the embodiment of what I really feared. What I really feared was the writing itself. Would I be good enough? Would anyone want to read my words? Were my ideas all stupid?
I didn't have much idea what I was doing when I started. I jumped right from critical essays into fiction. No wonder it was frightening.
Elana Johnson talks to today about the bravery it takes to write. That's so true. It's often a scary proposition. So many unknowns, so many doubts, so many fears. The only thing for it is to jump in and do it.
That's what I did. And now that I've been doing it for so long, I find those fears don't plague me so much anymore. I have a lot more confidence. Yes, I still doubt. Yes, I still have fears. But having been brave so many times in the past, my courage much easier to find now.
My advice for anyone out there who fears their monitor (or whatever it is that represents that fear for you), is to take a deep breath and just do it!
Have you ever had to overcome your fears?