You don’t have to face your fears. You just have to wake up earlier than they do.
I used to do my writing at night time. I found a surprising benefit to starting early in the morning.
I have to get my 6-year-old out of bed by 6:30am to get him to school on time. We walk out the door at 7:15am every morning. So I have no time before that to do anything productive… At least, that’s what I used to think.
For a while, I would write at night time, after 8pm, when the kids went to bed. I was never consistent, though. There a few reasons for that. For one thing, after you’ve spent all your waking hours working and taking care of kids, you tend to be ready to chill. You’re waiting until the end of the day to do your best work.
But that’s not the main reason nighttime proved to be the worst time for me to write.
In the evenings is when my fears were loudest.
I heard a preacher once say, you know it’s fear talking to you when it uses the word “you” instead of “I.” And that’s exactly how it sounded in my head…
“You’ll never make it as a writer, so what’s the point in trying?”
“It’s too late for you — everyone who succeeds was younger than you when they started, so you’re too late.”
“You have kids and a full-time job. You can’t manage a side hustle, certainly not one as irresponsible and uncertain as writing.”
“Besides, you’re really not even a great writer. You don’t have a ton of original ideas. A lot of people out there are much better than you.”
And on and on they go, paralyzing me. My fears are powerful, and they do an excellent job of telling me all the reasons I should give up.
Facing them isn’t safe. Because they’re stronger than me.
People say you just have to push through. Don’t listen to your fears. Just stand up to them.
But fear is a part of me. It’s not some outside force. It’s my own brain telling my heart what it can and can’t do. And it isn’t even ill intentioned.