I’m Scared Therefore I Do It Anyway

They always say that it’s a thin line between love and hate. Maybe that’s true. My natural tendency is to love everyone b/c folks in general are just so frickin dope. And I try not to hate, b/c I’m lazy and hate takes a ton of energy to maintain. Over the last few years, I’ve actually found that it’s a thin line between scared and should. What do I mean by that?

Well, back in 2006, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (which I consider my writer’s bible) introduced me to the concept of “fear as your true north.” Basically Pressfield asserted that being scared to write something is a good thing — fear means you should write it. This inspired me through the rewrite of 32 CANDLES and has served me well while writing my follow-up, THE AWESOME GIRL’S GUIDE TO DATING EXTRAORDINARY MEN. But I’ve also started applying the concept to my real life.

If someone asks me to do something and my first instinct is to say no because it scares me, then I force myself to do it anyway. That’s basically how I operate now. I’m not an overly confident person (the word neurotic has come up in descriptions), but I try to do the things I’m scared to do.

So when I saw this GalleyCat article, suggesting that authors do an impromptu book tour with the JetBlue All You Can Jet (AYCJ) Pass, which allows you to travel to any JetBlue city between Sept. 7 and Oct. 6 for $700, I was intrigued. So intrigued that I actually got all the way to the payment page, before calling my husband to talk me out of it.

I decided that

1. Switching the Fall tour to September as opposed to October would mean I’d have to scramble.

2. I don’t like asking folks for stuff, and doing an impromptu tour means inundating both my business and personal contacts with requests.

3. What if no one comes out? I live in fear of the zero-person book event.

4. That’s a lot of organization and meeting new people. I wondered if I have it in me, since at the end of the day, I’m still a rather disorganized shy person.

5. My plan had been to work on the second draft of THE AWESOME GIRL’S GUIDE TO DATING EXTRAORDINARY MEN in September.

So I decided to stick to my original plan and wrote yesterday’s “One More Thing Before We Go” about why I was passing on the AYCJ Pass. BUT I couldn’t stop thinking about the opportunity and after lots of thought and a conversation with my one of my publicists, I came up with the following:

1. What others call “too soon” might actually be an invitation to get your ish together right now.

2. The best advice I’ve gotten from a fellow writer to use all of your favors for your first book. So no, I don’t like asking folks for stuff, but that’s not really a good reason not to do so.

3. Yeah, it will be embarrassing if no one shows up, so I should make sure that doesn’t happen.

4. Knowing I’m disorganized and shy helps tremendously with being disorganized and shy. Only the disorganized and shy will understand why I just said that.

5. I’ve been hitting my writing goals all this week with a) my MIL and dog in the hospital, b) no childcare, and c) no guaranteed writing time. I can hit my writing goals on tour. In fact, this week might have been bootcamp for writing on tour.

But most of all, I was scared to buy the pass, and fear is my true north, so…

I went home, took a deep breath, reopened my laptop after my toddler closed it (twice), and bought the pass. An hour later JetBlue announced that the 7-day version of the pass had sold out. And now I’m writing this blog post, straight representing for scaredy-cats everywhere and wondering, where should I go in September?

Oh, and fellow writers, definitely click on the pic to purchase The War of Art if you haven’t already done so.