Should I write today? I should. The answer is always yes. Yes, Kelly, you should write today. So, why don’t I? If I know I am a writer, why don’t I write? Is it no confidence? Is it lack of something to say? No money in it? Is it…what? What is it?
It is fear. All of those other things are another way of saying fear. Fear keeps me from writing. Fear, plain and simple. Fear of what? Does it matter? It changes daily, hourly. Fear.
Fear kept me away from college. Fear kept me away from love. Fear kept me from making bigger, bolder, business moves. Fear kept me from claiming my writing gift. Even now, I recoil from typing that out. Fear. Fear is a life-sucking motherfucker.
I got a package from a friend yesterday. I squealed with delight and clapped my hands like a five year old when I saw her exquisite, artful, penmanship because I knew the box would be filled with baked goods like none other. And I was not disappointed. I fell on the contents of that box the way a wolf lands on a felled elk. I showed the biscotti no mercy.
When I finally came up for air, I noticed a bright red something buried at the bottom of the box. It was a canvas tote and printed on it was this quotation:
With enough courage, you can do without a reputation.
It’s a line from Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind. She puts those words in the mouth of Rhett Butler. There is much talk among pop culture about giving zero fucks. Margaret Mitchell invented the concept and then she invented Rhett and Scarlett to give it life. Margaret was the first to sit at her typewriter and whisper “look upon this field of fucks given and see its emptiness”. When Mitchell thumbed her nose at convention, she had skin in the game. She went against everything she was raised to be, everything her world told her a good, Southern, white, upper class woman should be.
This is me, now. This is me. When I am afraid my writing isn’t good enough? No fear. When I am afraid of another’s reaction to what I have to say? Zero fucks given. Afraid to take a chance on rejection? No oxygen for that thought.
What do I have to lose? Nothing. What do I have to gain? Everything.