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  • Ann Russell

Don't Be Afraid of Fear


"Don't be afraid of fear. Don't let fear rule you.

For the moments when you're challenged by fears like:

Am I good enough?

Am I smart enough?

Will I fail?

Look fear straight in it's ugly face and barge forward. When you pass by, turn around, give it a good swift kick in the ass."

~ Helen Mirren

Sometimes, the thought of writing gets hard, really hard and doubt squeezes through the layers of intention. You doubt yourself. You wonder if you've left it too late in life to write? Can I call myself a writer if I've yet to be Published? Why didn't I get that English Degree ~ is it really a step up?

Then you realise all that actually matters is you're writing anyway. You always have done. In a previous life, you've daydreamed many a Meeting away thinking through plot points, or imagining colleagues back stories to brighten your day, to make a tedious situation more colourful. You capture incidents in a note book that might 'come in handy' one day for a storyline. I carry an old-fashioned notebook to hand wherever I go, observing people at every opportunity while paying attention to friends at the table (it's a knack). Capture the weird and the wonderful. Like recently, out to lunch with a friend in Ramsgate and it was warm enough to sit outside and watch the world go by. After a while, an older woman dressed in casual clothes, neat bobbed grey hair came by. A pint pot in stature. From behind dark glasses she stared as she slowly strolled, head swivelling on shoulders to not miss a movement or gesture from us. We knew it was a death stare even behind the shades. Curious and weird. Who was she? Why choose us to stare at? Somehow I will weave this encounter into a storyline.

I do know that writers come in all shapes and sizes and older writers offer stories inspired by life's experience. Take the setbacks and Agent 'near misses' on the chin and carry on, and trust that your time will come. Call yourself a writer because you are.


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