Monday, August 13, 2007

Fearless Writing :: Part III

This third segment in an unplanned series on fearless writing addresses the yin to fear's yang: hope. Often we think hope as that force that gives us strength. On the contrary, hope tends to be the force that gives rise to expectations. Those expectations, or rather the consequences of not fulfilling those hopeful expectations are where the seeds of fear are sewn.

In the Tibetan language, the word for for hope is rewa; the word for fear is dokpa. More often, however, the term re-dok is used, as it is the linguistic combination of the two. For, as long as there is one, the other will also be present. Fear stems from hope unfulfilled. Hope stems from the belief that something else can suppress fear.

When Dante wrote "Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here," it was before the gates of Hell. I believe that a way to break the cycle of re-dok is to simply abandon hope. Right now, you are probably wondering what the heck any of this has to do with writing or creativity.

Next time you sit to write, abandon hope. It's hope that robs the present moment from us. It's hope that puts emphasis on how things could be in the ideal situation. Well, not to be a wet blanket, but life is just not ideal. But you knew that a long time ago. When you abandon hope and all of its expectations, however, you also abandon fear. In doing so, you reclaim the present. You regain your moment in front of the screen as you cull thoughts from the universe and create something where nothing existed before. You regain the right to fail without consequence. And you regain the right soar without reservation. You regain the creativity that hope too often takes away...when we let it.

This doesn't just go for writing. I would consider it a life lesson I've picked up along the way. Abandon hope. Live life in the present as much as possible, and immerse yourself in the experience of now. I can't promise it will make your writing better, but I think that you'll find the writing comes a little more easily each time.

Related Posts
Fearless Writing
Fearless Writing Part II

1 comment:

Jim Moon said...

Fear plays a huge part in writing, "What if it’s not good enough", “What will others say?”, “What about the negative comments?”, “I am no good at writing…”

These amongst many other circumstances keep everyday ordinary people from discovering their hidden talents in writing. Blogging or Journaling is a great resource, a great outlet for creativity, and a wonderful way to capture your memories in time.
Even though may people’s stories will never be told, nor heard and will pass away, because of these simple fears.

The only way to fully embrace creativity and spawn new learning and growth within your life, is to do it. Face your fear.

I used to be deathly afraid of public speaking. What did I do about it? I started giving speeches. I spoke to any group that would listen, on any subject… When there wasn’t a subject, I would make one up.

I held tightly to these same fears about blogging as I did with public speaking. My Grammar and spelling have never really been that great. This is probably due to the fact that I never had any formal training in writing. I dropped out of high school after 9th grade, I guess because I had ideas of broader horizons and at the time there was no room in my life for school.

After a few years, I did go back and complete my entire basic high school curriculum. Then attended college.

These same fears chased me throughout college, and even into my early professional career.

I finally reached a point that I was tired of running from my fears and now I do my best to face them head on.

Take the chance; it is definitely worth it…..


Jim Moon

- P.S. Great post Geoff!