The Brighter Side of Fear
A couple of days ago I blogged about The Fear Place, which can be an extremely uncomfortable spot while we're creating. But the more I think I about it, the more I believe that there's a time and place to slip inside its barbed-wire borders.
Without fear, we might stop stretching our hands toward perfection. Without fear, we can let the happy babble of outside praise deafen us to the false notes in our current work-in-progress. Our egos can swell so tight inside us that valid doubts are crowded out. Too often, I've seen authors near the top of their game begin to get a little sloppy. "Uneditable," a friend of mine calls those who wield such power that their words can't be questioned. And the work suffers for it in the long run.
I don't want to go to that place, so maybe I'll adopt this as my new mantra: Write fearlessly, but edit ruthlessly. Only don't try doing both at the same time.