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  • Sometimes the Thing You're Afraid of Happens... And It's OK.
Sometimes the Thing You're Afraid of Happens... And It's OK.
Written by
Alissa Johnson
October 2014
Written by
Alissa Johnson
October 2014

Picture this: me, at my desk, hosting a training by phone. Just talking away about writing, and the importance of writing about your writing as a way to get un-stuck.

Suddenly, there’s a dial tone in my ear. And then, that all too familiar beep, beep, beep that happens when the line goes dead.

In front of me, on the computer screen, I can see all the people on the call who are now listening to nothing.

"It’s okay," I tell myself. "Just dial back in and pick up where you left off."

Only I come to find out that the last thing anyone heard from me was several points back. I had been talking to myself.

This is my biggest technological fear. The line goes dead in spite of test runs and “fool proof” plans. People who are craving this information and need it to finish their books are now sitting in cyber space wondering what happened and about to hang up.

Not only that, most of them don’t know me! They don’t know that I’m put together, on top of things, and take pride in being professional.

You can see where this train of thought leads. Down the rabbit hole of fear that I will be judged and deemed unworthy. (When I take a look at all of my fears, this is where they lead me… ahh, the predictability of it, and still I have to work everyday to put that fear in its place.)

Know what actually happened? For some reason (and one that still makes me smile), most of them stayed on the line. They told me the last thing they’d heard, and I started again.

And since then? I haven’t gotten emails about my incompetence. I have gotten emails thanking me for the content. And I can’t stop laughing about it. Because in spite of all the steps I’d taken to ensure that things wouldn’t go wrong they did. And it was fine. Not ideal, but fine. I still accomplished my goal of sharing this information with writers.

Something that wouldn’t have happened if I’d let me fear stop me in the first place. Fear really isn’t the voice of reason–in writing, in our work, in our lives.

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