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.

Cluttering Your Creativity? by Donna K. Rice

As I write this post, I’m in the process of packing the many books and supplies in my writing space. We’re downsizing. Sorting many years of collected family treasures, trinkets, and trash has consumed my summer. And yes, I did say trash. It’s amazing to me how many items we stored away thinking them valuable only to find now that we have collected a lot of trash. We cluttered our lives with too much of the unnecessary.

My writing space, left for the end of my sorting melee, turned out to be no different than the rest of our home. Full of the unnecessary. Full of clutter. Clutter weighing down my spirit, mind, and creativity. Clutter stealing my joy. As I rid my home of excess, I find my joy returning. It’s getting easier to pick up an item, determine it serves no purpose, then pitch it in the trash, recycle bin, or donation box.

If you’ve been considering cutting clutter or downsizing your home, here are some things I’ve learned in the last few weeks:

  • Start with the project you least want to tackle. When it’s done, you’ll feel more confident tackling the next room.
  • Don’t give up when you see the next cluttered space.
  • Develop a critical eye as quickly as possible. When I started, I kept too much. I’ve gone back to a few things and let them go.
  • Oh yes, don’t give up when you see the next cluttered space.
  • While it’s easy to plan on doing one room at a time like the organization books say, I found that if I really wanted to get all similar items together, I had to jump back and forth a bit. Better to suffer things being worse for a time if it all comes together nicely in the end.
  • Finally, did I tell you not to give up when you see the next cluttered space?

My writing space will soon be spiffy and ready for potential buyers to peruse as our house goes up for sale. I’ll enjoy the room in its new bare bones state, but what I’m really getting excited about is the freedom breaking loose in my creative mind and heart. Ideas and plans are forming for that day when I can focus on my writing again. I can’t wait to get back to my keyboard.

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Donna writes women’s fiction and is represented by Sue Brower of the Natasha Kern Literary Agency. She’s a licensed minister, conference speaker, and estate planning attorney. She also works with GenderSave, a nonprofit seeking to empower women and girls at risk from gendercide practices in India. Contact Donna at donnakrice.com.

Why is a Writer Like a Bumblebee by Angela Arndt

You’ve heard the story that, after an extensive study, a scientist proclaimed there was no valid reason a bumblebee could fly? It turns out the study was completed in 1934, and there have been one or two advances in the field of aeronautical engineering since then.  Shout it from the rooftops: “Science proves bumblebees CAN fly.”

This morning, I saw a bumblebee in our yard bouncing from stem-to-stem. When its little body landed atop one blossom, the branch swayed way down, almost to the ground. But, instead of flying away, it stayed aboard and vibrated its tiny wings just little harder.

I admit it, I’m curious; I did a little research on this intrepid insect.

  • Bumblebee nests may be underground, in abandoned mouse holes, or bird boxes – any place that’s dark and quiet.
  • If you robbed a bumblebee nest, it would yield only get a few ounces of honey. In comparison, if you harvest the honey from only a few frames of honeybee comb, your output would be closer to a gallon.
  • Bumblebees pollinate some plants that honeybees can’t, including tomatoes, Brazil nuts, cactus, and eggplant.
  • The name, bumblebee, means “clumsy.” (They don’t seem to care.)

So why is a writer like a bumblebee?

  1. A writer should be a writing machine, even if when if the product crashes-and-burns. Remember: just flap a little harder and hang on.
  2. Writer’s lairs are usually in the unused, forgotten, dusty parts of the house. However, writing dens belonging to the species, published author, tend to be gorgeous and well-lit.
  3. All writers may not produce the same amount of honey (or money), but all writers must write.
  4. All forms of writing are valid. Novellas, short stories, articles and flash fiction can be as compelling as full-length novels.
  5. If an online reviewer, from the genus trollus, calls your work “clumsy,” ignore them. The data needed to make that determination won’t be available until you’ve left this earth. In the meantime, write like a bumblebee.

Writers of the world, let’s make this our rally cry: “Bumblebees CAN fly!”

Eh, maybe not.

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fb-Headshot aearndt 82113When Angela Arndt is not watching bumblebees or robbing honey bee hives, she enjoys writing mysteries set in small Southern towns. Coincidentally, she, her husband, and their three very large dogs (a lab mix, Staffordshire terrier, and a 12-pound poodle) live in the middle of a big wood outside a small Southern town. She would love for you to visit her website, or Seriously Write, her team blog.