Everyone is scared of something. In many cases, as a writer, I use my fears in my work. Fear helps to motivate you to get things done. Fight or flight response kicks in and adrenaline rushes through your body. Muscles tense and the worlds slows down. These feelings are a gold mine for a writer. We can use terror and fear to explore what we are afraid of. I have decided to embrace my fears. In honor of that here are the Top 5 things that scare me.
It is an irrational fear, but a fear none the less. I get vertigo just seeing people on ladders. It is strange because is it only small heights that do this to me. I am perfectly fine on a plane. I even learned to parachute in the Army. I have jumped out of a plane at 500 – 750 feet 7 times, but get me on a ladder and I freeze. Part of it is being above ground with nothing securing me. I feel tense just thinking about it. It has caused problems on a few occasions. It is a fear that I need to face and overcome.
I understand Indian Jones’ feelings about snakes. Creatures that move quickly without legs creeps me out. My roommate in the Army had a ball python and a boa constrictor. I would only get near them when I was drunk, which honestly was a lot of the time ehile I was in the Army. I still have a hard time being around snakes. It is another irrational fear that I need to overcome.
3. Losing my mom
I know I will someday have to deal with that fact that my mother will be gone. She has had a rough year. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in January and went through some pretty hardcore radiation treatments for the first few months of the year. I was very angry when she was diagnosed. I never want anyone to go through the pain and uncertainty of cancer. I know my own struggle has been hard, and it really hurt to see my mom go through this. She is a fighter though, and is in remission. No chemo was necessary, which was good news. My dad committed suicide and my grandparents are gone. She and my brother are the all that’s left of the family unit that I grew up with. This is a fear everyone has, but it still affects me and my writing.
2. Losing my eyesight.
I have an optometrist appointment today. They will be dilating my eyes. I have never liked that part of the visit. I could handle losing my hearing, but my sight, that scares the hell out of me. Reading and writing are a fundamental part of my life. It would devastate me to not be able to read. My eyesight has slowly been declining over the last few years. I now have to wear bifocals, which makes me feel older than I am, but I am able to read with them so they are not that bad. Still, this is a huge fear of mine, and one that I plan on exploring in my novel. The blackness of blindness is overwhelming and lonely. It scares me.
1. Losing my children
No one should have to bury their children. My mother in law lost her son a few years back. I only met Matt once for 5 minutes, but he seemed like a good guy. A few days later he died of an brain aneurism. Totally unexpected and there was nothing that could have stopped it. It has affected my mother in law very deeply. I know all parents fear losing their children. I am no different. It is my biggest fear. I was not in my daughters life for a long time. We have a good relationship now, but it has taken a lot of work on my part. I don’t ever want to lose what I have with my daughter or son. Losing them would crush me.
These are my biggest fears. What are yours? Do you use those fears in your writing? Does writing about what terrifies you help you to overcome them? Without fear can there be bravery? I would love to hear from you.