Wednesday, September 7, 2011

In the Face of Fear

Today, I’ve been working on organizing and outlining some of the ideas that I have for what I dream will one day become a book for teachers about teaching literacy.  Broad topic, I know.  But right now, I’m in the gathering and envisioning stage of my writing process.  I’m relishing going back through the volumes that I have been collecting over the years and reacquainting with my old thoughts and experiences as a teacher.  I find myself making notes in the margins and asking myself questions.  My questions prompt me to want to write more and when I do, I find myself thinking about things that surprise me.  Writing more leads me to new a-has and I get excited…and then worried because I wonder, where does this process end?  How could I possibly write an entire book if my thinking keeps changing and growing as I springboard from one idea to the next?  In some ways, the process is exhilarating and liberating but in other ways, it’s absolutely paralyzing.    I’m so scared, I want to put away my notebook and binder and pen and start scrubbing toilets.  Anything has got to be better than this, I think as I turn my head toward the bulletin board next to my desk and read the quote from Eleanor Roosevelt glaring at me from the center:
Do something every day that scares you.
As those words wash over me, I recognize the feeling in the pit of my stomach: fear.  I’m trying all sorts of new things this year webinars, videos, writing a book.  All of these things cause my body to surge with anxiety because they’re new and quite frankly, I don’t know if I’ll be good at any of them.  But when I hear the echoing voice of negativity, the trite old saying, “nothing ventured, nothing gained” pops into my head and I soldier on.  I am dedicating this year to dissonance and discomfort.  I am going to try these things that scare me.  My question for you is this: Will you join me? What will you do this year that scares you? 


Sharon Taberski said...

Congratulations on yet another wonderful post! And I do hope you write that book. My've got two of the most important things going for you—your talent as a wordsmith and a literacy educator. You go girl!! Let me know if I can do anything to help.

Kim Yaris said...

Hi Sharon! Thank you so much for the words of encouragement! I think making my intention public was a huge step for me. I've talked about writing a book for a long time but actually putting it here might help make me accountable to that desire...As someone who has written and published in this arena, what is your best advice for someone just starting out?