5 Tips to Defeat Fear—Avenger-Style

by Jeanne Takenaka, @jeannetakenaka

My boys are Avengers junkies. They love these movies of fearless heroes who fight crimes of global proportions and defeat overly powerful aliens. They dream of being that kind of fearless.

Sometimes I wish I was an Avenger in my writing life. Able to push through the fears I face, no matter how overwhelming they appear.

We’re regular humans who struggle with our individual fears. Maybe it’s fear of an agent’s rejection or a publishing house’s pass on our book. Or not being able to finish the book—to get that story of our hearts onto the page. Maybe it’s a fear of success.

Overcoming them demands hard work and a

5 Tips to Defeat Fear-Avenger Style

determination that we will not be defeated.

How do we work through our fears?

  1. Set our minds on the goal. The Avengers knew the stakes and the cost of failure. They determined to do the work. We must remember the vision God gave us for our writing journey. We need to make up our minds that we will push through the fear.
  2. Continue working toward the goal. Even with setbacks, the Avengers kept searching for answers and planning. For us, no matter where we are on our writing journey, we take one step forward at a time, no matter what our thoughts tell us.
  3. Gather our team. When the battle was fiercest, the Avengers teamed together and “had each others’ backs.” We need to surround ourselves with safe-place people who will encourage, speak truth to, and help us regain perspective.
  4. Set daily goals and work to meet them. The Avengers calculated the aspects of the threat and created a plan to conquer. We know the adage of how to eat an elephant. The same is true with our writing journey. We plan daily goals and work to accomplish them. Be realistic. Be determined.
  5. Above all, keep our hearts seeking after Jesus. As we are intentional in our relationship with Him, He strengthens us to face our fears.

Even the Avenger heroes faced their own fears. Each dealt with something from his or her past. Each had to answer the question: Would they allow their past fears to dictate their present actions?

We know the answer to the question for each Avenger was, “No.”

When aliens struck, they circled around and worked as a team. Their goal of saving the human race may have been a slightly higher-stake goal than most of ours.

Maybe God plans to use our words to save a heart, a relationship, or even a life. No one will ever read those words if we allow fear to have the final word.

As we walk forward on our writing paths, we answer the same question . . . will we allow our past, our fears rule our present? Let our answer be a resounding, “No.”

What about you? What tips would you add to my list about facing our fears? What’s a verse or quote that helps you face your fears?

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Jeanne Takenaka writes contemporary fiction that touches the heart. She won My Book Therapy’s Frasier award in 2014 after finaling in the contest in 2013. She was a Genesis 2015 finalist in the romance category, and she finaled in the Launching a Star Contest and the Phoenix Rattler in 2012. An active member of RWA, ACFW and My Book Therapy, Jeanne blogs about life and relationships at http://jeannetakenaka.wordpress.com. A graduate with an M.A. in education, she resides in Colorado with her husband and two exuberant boys who hope to one day have a dog of their own.

Letting Our Characters “Get Tired of It”

Last weekend was one of those longtime-coming-but-so-worth-the-wait kind of events. After 18 months of planning, best-selling author Rachel Hauck spoke at Write in the Springs, the annual conference for the Colorado Springs ACFW group.

One of the first things I did when I became president of ACFWCS was to ask Rachel to be our 2015 speaker. Her yes was immediate and enthusiastic. The result? Two days of writers being taught – equipped and encouraged – by a woman who knows story and who wants other writers to succeed.

In between taking photos and checking on things in the background, I typed a few notes of my own. These two lines about developing characters stand out:

  • I am tired of being behind this Fear.
  • I am tired of this Wound.

Here at My Book Therapy, we’re all about creating compelling characters. And we start with the Dark Moment, which leads to a Wound, a Lie, and a Fear. The Dark Moment, Wound, Lie, and Fear affects our characters’ relationships with God and with others. As we write our stories, our characters fight against the pain of the Wound, the trap of the Lie, and the Fear that holds them back from being their true selves.

But there comes a time in our characters’ lives when they have to say:

  • I am tired of being behind this Fear.
  • I am tired of this Wound.

And this is when we, as the author, allow our characters to change. They have to change. Who wants to read a book where the characters remain the same from beginning to end?

Dark Moments, Wounds, Lies, Fears – they are not just craft elements created to help us write better stories. Each one of us has our own Dark Moment that resulted in a heart wound. We believe lies about ourselves and about God. Each of us is afraid. Of someone. Of something.

We have to grow up, embrace faith and the strength of God to say, “I am tired of being afraid. I am tired of letting this wound of my past control today and strangle my future.”

And as authors, we build those life-changing moments into our stories too. Allow our characters to move from fear to courage. Bring imaginary people into their fictional lives who help heal their wounds – who teach them to trust God again, or maybe trust Him for the first time.

Consider the story you are writing. When do your main characters get to say, “I am tired of being behind this fear” and “I am tired of this wound”?

[Tweet “Letting Our Characters “Get Tired of It” @bethvogt #amwriting #writer”]