Risk and Distractions

I’ve never been a big fan of trying new things. If it involves food, I will try it, but something like rock climbing? Eh. I’m not sure that’s my thing. Try out a new grocery store? Nah, I know where everything is at my usual grocery store. Buy a new car? No thanks, I just learned how to park this one. Sometimes, I will try new things, but you won’t find me jumping up and down with excitement about it. Trying means risk. Risk brings the possibility of failure. Failure sucks.

Many years ago, I played one single season of softball. In truth, I stood in the outfield and made necklaces from the weeds I found around my feet. Other than attempting my own organic jewelry line, I put very little effort into that season in the outfield. I don’t know if I was any good at softball, because I didn’t try. But I also don’t know if I sucked, because I didn’t try. See how easy that is? If you don’t do anything, failing almost becomes impossible.

For the past couple of weeks, I have struggled to write. Everyone in my home has been sick, and I have had to take on the role of family doctor. This leaves little time to sit and think. Sick people require a lot of attention. They need you to sit and watch them watch Jeopardy. They need a specific soup from a specific store. They need you to bring them Gatorade. Lately, everyone and everything has required my attention, which leaves me with little time to write. When I do get a moment alone, I binge-watch Friends or stalk celebrities on Instagram instead.

From the beginning of this blog, I have been concerned with failure. My fear of failure makes me a normal human being. What’s odd and totally psychotic is my fear of success. If I write a post that doesn’t resonate with anyone, I know solely based on the number of viewers. No one comes up to me and says, “That sucked, yo.” But if I write a post that people like? People comment or text me or come up to me in person and tell me they enjoyed it. I love hearing feedback. It can be very encouraging, but it also means I have to continue. I have to write more. I could write nine pieces of junk, just to have one good one. I just have to write, and writing is risky.

This post is mainly words to myself. At this moment, my daughter is literally hanging on my back. This is how I get to write. This is how I have to write. I have to push through my fear of writing junk. I have to set aside time regardless of the distractions that literally call my name. I can’t let myself be stagnant. Sure, I could just quit writing. I could stop trying. I could sit on the couch and watch daytime television all day. Only, my couch isn’t comfortable. Actually, not a single piece of my living room furniture is comfortable. I think I would rather be uncomfortable writing amongst distractions than uncomfortably watching Ellen on my stiff couch.

4 Responses

  1. mrgm97@yahoo.com'
    Matt G.

    Generally, your blog is well written. The entries are all thoughtful and relevant. The careful blend of humor and palpable apprehension makes each one worth reading. Keep writing. People will continue to read.

  2. mcsample@gmail.com'

    I could get all counselor-y/social work-y on you and talk to you about this phenomenon. Basically you are not alone. Many people have a fear of success and self-sabotage when the see success coming at them. So, you’re not as crazy as you think!

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