A different kind of fear.
As you may or may not know - depending on if you know me or you’ve checked out the site thoroughly – my most recent script, Black Sunday, finally got me a little bit of attention and I got a lot of the validation I was yearning for. My short, Haunted House Hunters was also winning fans left and right. Finally, a few folks who know a thing or two about screenwriting publically said my scripts – my writing – were enjoyable to them, that they were good. I went into the Austin Film Festival last October as a finalist and semi-finalist. I was elated, I was excited and I felt I was on my way.
So, the crash I experienced after coming back from Austin was a shock and it was one I ignored for way too long. Before I knew it, the holidays had descended upon me and I was in a deep dark depression. I struggled with it for a few months and ended up isolating myself from everyone, even family. What snapped me out of it and gave me pause was when my grandmother could tell something was wrong just from my voice on the phone. I tried to analyze what was bugging me. Why hadn’t I made any progress on my current projects I so loved and wanted to complete? What was holding me back and making me feel like shit? After a lot of reflection, I finally figured it out. It was fear. That bastard was back.
I thought I’d conquered that SOB once the accolades started rolling in. Why the fuck was he back? This time he was different, he was sneakier. He made me wonder if I wasn’t just a one hit wonder. What if I slid back and was a mediocre writer again? What if future stories sucked?… What if.. What if… Fuck.
After that I realized just recognizing what the problem was and what I was so afraid of took away some of the power it had in my head. I put it on the examination table and dissected it with the practical, analyzed manner of a scientist. I came to the conclusion that who the fuck cares if I slide back or if nobody responds to the next script? So what. I just move on and keep growing and learning. That’s all I can do. If I do nothing then I really am a one hit wonder and I can’t let that happen or let fear win.
Fear was sneaky in his latest attack, but thankfully I didn’t waste years being prisoner to this new kind of fear and I tackled him and I’ve beat him into submission. I won’t say I’ve won completely because I know he’ll crop up again, but hopefully my fear radar has improved and I can disarm him before he gets me back in his cruel dungeon.
That’s my hope for you too, whether you’re a writer, an artist or just a human with a dream. Recognize that fear has many faces and many shapes and many ploys. Kick his ass and make him cry uncle any time you can. Your dreams will thank you.