Thursday, February 23, 2012

The one in which I reveal I needed my books most

I know how you feel. That's the whole point.

Dirty little secret?

I wrote Refuse to be Afraid because I was tired of being stuck because of fear. Same old, same old, and I knew it was because I was afraid – afraid of stepping forward, afraid of rejection, afraid of consequences, afraid of this goofy economy, afraid of losing freedom – and I needed a pep talk.

In the midst of writing out those fears and trying to cope with them, I found – just like a cliff I fell off as a child – that the things I feared weren't nearly as formidable as they seemed. When you control your fear instead of letting the fear control you – when you refuse to be afraid – the rewards can be enormous, especially in terms of peace of mind.

I wrote A Scream of Consciousness because I was tired of living aimlessly, watching brainless TV shows that I immediately forgot – or surfing the Internet. I told myself I was educating myself, but I rarely took action about what I learned.

An exuberant aging folkie named Barry McGuire and a 350-year-old book by a Jesuit priest taught me concepts about living in the moment that I had to share.

Funny thing – when I put my little self-pep talks out to the world to share, I discovered I wasn't the only one who needed to hear those messages. When a friend tells me how Refuse to be Afraid served as a reminder to stay calm during tough times, I realize we all face moments when fear threatens to immobilize us, and we all let our consciousness drift.

What's keeping you from going forward? Maybe the first thing you need to do is write yourself a pep talk. Don't worry about building an audience – or even if anyone will ever read it – just write what you need to hear. You may find – as I did – that you're not alone.

(And if you want to buy my books as examples of what I'm talking about, I certainly won't object.)

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