This 500 word challenge has done so many things for me. One thing I can’t say it’s done, however, is remove that fear that I believe most writers have when they are closer to shipping their art. The “meat” of my book is done. I look at it and find it’s hard to believe that I have come to that point.

For three days I have thought I should send it out to people who agreed to be a reviewer for me. And for the same three days, I’ve put it off. The resistance was strong, and while I wish I could say I beat it down, I didn’t. I chose to let it have control for those three days, somehow not finding the time to hit the send button.

Writing blog posts is so much easier than writing a book. I write, some read, perhaps many don’t, and sometimes people leave a comment. Traffic is great, and interaction is great. I like to hear that people have read something I wrote and that it touched them.

A book, of course, takes longer to complete. Mine has been two years in the works now, for a variety of reasons. The 500 Words challenge that I am doing for January has pushed me to complete it. Seth Godin speaks about artists, how we are all artists, and that unless we ship that art, it doesn’t touch anyone. The idea of shipping is to get something out the door. Beat the resistance, win the battle and ship the product, or the art.

As I started to prepare to send my book, it was almost like being a child again, afraid of some unknown monster in the closet, who I am sure is ready to jump out at any moment. And so the self-doubt begins. What if they think its lousy? What if they hate it? What if they say I can’t really write? Maybe I just need to tweak things a bit more. Maybe it’s not really ready. After all, it’s been two years. How could you think this simple challenge to write 500 words a day really made this happen?

See how it works? The paralysis by analysis builds into a fear that must be conquered. Time to take a deep breath, stop over-analyzing things, and ship it!

Grey Twilight

I find this quote quite reassuring at times like this. Dare mighty things. For some, sending a book to a reviewer might not seem like such a mighty thing. For me, it sure feels mighty. It’s out there. Others will be reading my words and giving me their thoughts. It is my hope, along with that, they will also be blessed by those words. I’m a believer that the promises in the Bible have relevant meaning to our lives today, and I hope that is the message they receive. In the end, if the book encourages just one person, it will accomplish what I want it to.

What about you? When is a time when you have faced the fear? What mighty thing have you dared to do lately? Do it! It is better than living in the grey twilight that knows neither victory or defeat. And in the end, it just feels good to get it done!

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