Sometimes writing is easy and safe, and sometimes it isn’t.  Sometimes writing is about taking risks. It might be that you need to tap into something painful or unhappy to emotionally connect with a character.  Or, it might be about stepping outside of your comfort zone and doing something different. Writing is just like life. At some point, you have to let your fears go.

This weekend, I came a wee bit closer to overcoming one of my lifelong fears.  In the past, I’ve developed great strategies for coping with my fear of heights. I tend to stay away from the balcony edge in my friends’ condos and keep my eyes glued to the car in front of me when I’m driving over a bridge.  I used to be able to make my husband put up the Xmas lights, but these days, I’m forced to do it myself.  I shake like a leaf even though I only have a one story house.  It’s a small step on the road to facing my fears.

This weekend, I took another step. I went zip lining. It was simultaneously terrifying and exhilarating.  Let me tell you, the white knuckle death grip and I are more than closely acquainted.  For the first few runs I kept my eyes tightly shut.  But after a while, even I started to loosen up.  While other participants (especially the teenagers in the group) were busy twirling and flipping upside down, and waving, I eventually managed to open my eyes and loosen my death grip on my harness.  And guess what?  I discovered that the views were stunning. By the time we hit the last run, I was actually enjoying myself.

So, now that I’ve faced my fear of heights (and I admit, I’m not completely over it yet) I think it’s time that I tackled one of my writing fears.  The main character in my WIP needs to hit the bottom so she can climb back up. She needs to hurt.  And since I really like her, it’s hard for me to write that pain.  So, my strategy has been avoidance…I’ve danced around the harsh scenes that are central to the story. But, I think it’s time to step off the safety of the platform, open my eyes, and let go.

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