Fear, What I Love, and the Next Step

When my life changed directions and I started writing romance and making art and jewelry it never occurred to me that I was missing something. Is there joy when I write a sexy romance? Yes. Do I get satisfaction creating pieces of art that I’m unsure of and yet still push to finish? Again, yes. And is there instant gratification when I complete a new collection of jewelry designs that I can wear once I’m done? Yep. What I didn’t know was that it’s scary putting my art out into the world. It’s much easier to put it online and then walking away. It’s a totally different beast in its physical form leaving it in someone else’s care.

Yesterday after taking another leap of faith to make my business a success I handed over some of my work for consignment in a local gift and art store called Helium Studio. My belly fluttered, and my fingers bounced on my steering wheel as I drove to Helium Studio. I even contemplated what to wear that morning and finally said to myself, wear whatever the hell you want because you’re an artist, it’s not an office interview. So as I was hitting 45 mph and getting to the store 15 minutes early, questions danced through my head. Was my work good enough? Would the owner like what I brought? Would people buy what I created? I was nervous. My nerves had been dormant for a long time. So, as I walked in the small store with two boxes full of carefully packaged jewelry pieces and canvases I exposed my heart to the owner and showed her what I’d produced the last couple of years. By the time our meeting was over she decided to show all the work I’d brought except a couple pieces.

I was stunned.

You know that rush you feel when you’ve done something that resulted in something good and unexpected? Or when you’re listening to the click, click, click of a rollercoaster as you ride to the edge of it’s designed precipice that will take you over that first giant hill? You kind of lose your words and things move fast to the finish? That’s what happened to me. My stomach was doing somersaults and my hands shook as I finished writing out the inventory I was leaving. And then, I had to part with my original paintings. I kind of freaked out. I was hesitant and worried and I wanted to snatch them back because they felt like my babies. You want to know what that feeling was? Fear. And what I hadn’t been feeling in a long time was the fear that felt good.

I’ve battled fear of failure, failing myself and my family, for a long time. I battle that bastard every day. I tell myself to keep going, that if I work toward my goal of success with particular goals set Monday through Sunday, one step at a time to reach the big goal, then I’m doing what I set out to do. But what I missing in all this goal setting frenzy was the good kind of fear, putting my work out into the world, having wild horses galloping in my belly instead of the numb feeling that had gotten me to this point, to this day, and to this moment.

I don’t want to go without that kind of fear again. Some fear is good. It reminds me that I’m alive and doing what I was meant to do.

Fear is good sometimes. I won’t forget again.