This Writer: Facing the Fear of Excellence

Some of you have noticed my sporadic attendance in posting these last few months, and I thank you for your encouraging words.  I have been occupied by an annoyance of sorts: no not defending the universe from hoards of bad guys, not working out twenty-five hours a day to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics, and certainly not sitting in my vault at Gringots counting my wizard gold.

I have been facing an impenetrable wall called The Fear of Excellence and trying to figure out a way over, under or through.

When I first started posting on WordPress.com I had no idea what I was doing and frankly the first couple of months were nothing.  Aimless actually.  Then in February 2011 I started getting comments.   Well first it was ‘comment’ and that came from Tricia at the domestic fringe on February 25, 2011.  Then Joss popped in, then Pat Cegan and then Colleen.  That original group is still with me along with a few others.  That’s when I started writing to an audience.  So for the rest of 2011 I started posting whatever popped into my cranium.  I cheered on my blogging friends who achieved the sacred Freshly Pressed status and began to toy with the idea that I too might make The List.  Then the persistent thought became rather annoying and I decided not to focus on it at all.

I kept reading successful bloggers trying to determine exactly what ‘successful’ meant.

The IT happened.  The Wall.  The Wall of Excellence.  Well I was thrilled!  I spent days reading every post, my heart pounding with excellence as I viewed HER body of work.

First emotion – Joy – – Inspiration, excitement.
Second emotion – Laughter -Yes!  That is the standard I seek!
Third emotion – thread of caution  – um….maybe
Fourth emotion – Fear – I can’t do that! (this one lasted quite a long time)

Convinced I wanted to raise the bar, but gripped by The Fear of Failure or The Fear of Success I stopped regular posts. And even worse I stopped working on my novel, ‘Propagation’.

Have you ever lost your footing? Your grip? Your mind? Due to fear?

That Fear, that Excellence has a name and it is Cecilia at thekitchensgarden.

After wrestling with the demons of the dark side I finally found inspiration again.  I discovered I wasn’t afraid of Celi or her talent.  I was afraid of myself but succeeded in calmly thinking things out.  Now it might seem that calmly thinking took but a few minutes but it took ages.  Simply ages.

Finally going full circle I decided I could raise the bar by working at getting better.
First I needed a theme and to find it started a series of FITFS – following in the footsteps – writing about bloggers I admire and discovering what makes them successful.
Second for the ‘Oh The Plots We Weave’ series I looked at news stories and considered the possibilities for fiction.
Third I discovered a desire to do a ‘This Writer Series’ for all other subject matter.

Next I needed to commit to a schedule.  Three Themes – Three days.  It will look something like this:

Monday Mayhem – Oh The Plots We Weave
Wednesday – This Writer
Friday – FITFS

With a number of changes, challenges and events I have not been able to think about Propagation for months.  Characters and story lines sit patiently waiting to be given a voice.  Now that I am doing all this bar raising I have a sense of purpose and direction.

So what bars are you raising?

*I know this is Tuesday not Wednesday but ‘This Writer” just could not wait one more day.  When a plan comes together, one simply must act.

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22 Comments (+add yours?)

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  2. Darlene
    Jul 31, 2012 @ 23:09:07

    When the timing is right, it all falls together. We all have our moments of fear, discouragement whatever. What makes all of us here who we are is the ability to get up and try again and as you say, raise the bar. I love your new energy and enthusiasm, it is contagious. I too enjoy your blog.

    Reply

  3. barb19
    Jul 31, 2012 @ 22:23:34

    Joss has put into words my exact feelings Chris. Let yourself be you, you are unique, there is no-one in this world like you!
    You offer so much with your wise words of wisdom in your blog, saying it just as it is, no frills; a spade is a spade with you and that’s what your readers like about you.
    Be yourself – no more, no less.

    Reply

  4. Crowing Crone Joss
    Jul 31, 2012 @ 20:19:04

    Chris, Chris, Chris – I don’t know whether I want to give you a shake or a hug, my friend. Be you, you’re great. I have missed your presence so much here in Blogland. Your sense of humour, your unique view of our world bless me more than I can say. Welcome back, give that fear a smack up the back side of the head and stick around. We need you, we love you, we want you – you Chris, not someone else or their views or approach, you with all your uniqueness and wit and smarts!

    Reply

  5. Kathryn McCullough
    Jul 31, 2012 @ 17:46:04

    I think this sounds like an excellent plan, Chris. I love your blog. I know what it feels like to be discouraged and/or to lack motivation. Hang in there, my friend.
    Hugs,
    Kathy

    Reply

  6. halfwaybetweenthegutter
    Jul 31, 2012 @ 15:14:06

    Ah. See, I tried to explain this, but you put it much more eloquently. The fear of excellence… yup, that’s it.

    Reply

  7. Chatter Master
    Jul 31, 2012 @ 11:45:29

    I’ve always loved your blog. Though I understand that process of questioning what you are doing, why you are doing, what you want from it…. I think I get it on my own level anyway. I know that I will be here for the long term because I always look forward to your posts. As a matter of fact I have twenty still waiting and I clicked on yours first! :) I look forward to your continued beautiful excellence at being you.

    Reply

  8. ceciliag
    Jul 31, 2012 @ 11:29:10

    Merciful heaven. Wait I need to go back and read that again. OK I did and am still confused. You must never be afraid of what I do. I am a skinny foreign girl on a prairie taking photos of roosters and drying up fields (Not to mention the hail that just ripped into my newly mown hay as the battery on my camera died!). I am so small and in no way excellent. We all struggle along. Chris! (whiny voice) take the E word back.. take it back. (cut whiny voice) You are lovely and generous and passionate and a great writer and as well as that i suspect that you would be wonderful company for a cup of tea.. I love your blog and love your new ideas.. c

    Reply

    • Bridgesburning Chris King
      Jul 31, 2012 @ 13:18:18

      Well C I owe you a world of thanks because without you I would never have been brave enough! When I thought I had no brave left I just borrowed some of yours. You are pure inspiration and pretty great in my eyes!

      Reply

      • ceciliag
        Aug 01, 2012 @ 09:53:54

        Darling girl. What a kind thing to say. But remember you are a star. One of a kind. We all have individual voices. We are all one of a kind. No-one can tell it like you can because they are not you. No-one has had your life, or your experiences or your family or your history. All that is yours. You own it. And every single one of those stories and experiences will be different to mine. Every single one of your reactions will have been different. But when you tell us about those experiences in your direct intelligent way we will be able to empathise with you. We can feel a little of our own responses in yours. That is where you are connecting with us. This is where your lion’s heart is. Trust yourself. You are already brave. love love celi

      • Bridgesburning Chris King
        Aug 01, 2012 @ 12:04:00

        Thank you Celi. It is a wonderful world we share..a wonderful life! How fortunate we all are!

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