Wednesday, January 9, 2008

An author's fear

Fear has nearly always been part of my life. I, like all children, was born trusting everyone and everything.

The fear began to creep in when I was a small child.

Injustice births fear. When the world became unfair, I became afraid.

And the fear has never really all the way left. Sometimes it's paralyzing. Sometimes it's of me--I am afraid to fail; I'm afraid I limit myself; I'm afraid I'll get food poisoning from the cafeteria.

But other times it is almost indistinguishable from longing. The jitters in my core when something's about to begin. When a story is about to begin.

I'm taking my first Playwriting class in 56 minutes. I have never wanted to take one class as much as I want to take this one.

I started reading the textbook last night, and I couldn't put it down.

All through the book, I was flooded with apprehension. I can't finish anything I start. I have excellent first lines, decent first chapters or scenes or whatever... and it's all downhill from there until it fizzles out into nothingness and missed opportunities. What makes me think I could finish a play? And then I began to doubt my creativity; will any of my ideas be in the slightest original? Will I even get an idea at all? Heaven knows I don't have one now!

And then the fear began to excite me. The possibilities... even the possibilities of failure... make the stakes high. You can't really fight giving your all if you have absolutely no fear.

No comments: