Tuesday, October 09, 2007

the fear

Is there anything more boring, yet at the same time, as utterly compelling as the sound of your own inner voice, reciting in every detail, you how doomed you really are? Annie Lamott, one of my favorite Bay Area writers, calls this inner voice “Radio K-FKD”. It will play 24 hours, 7 days a week if you let it, with no commercial interruptions.

I call this voice “The Fear”. The Fear is a simple animal: It’s scared that if I don’t I move my money into a higher-interest savings account, and soon, I will go broke; terrified that if I don’t come up with new designs tomorrow, everyone is going to get bored with my old crap; and really worried that I say I can’t afford health insurance yet I drop thousands on wine, shoes, plane tickets and dry-farmed-locally-and-sustainably-produced- heirloom tomatoes. Do you have your priorities straight missy? Are you doing what a responsible adult would be doing with her life? Maybe you should go get a job. Pottery Barn is dying to hire you ! As a sales rep of course...

The fear is like a bad date: relentlessly reciting the stories it thinks will get your attention, with little regard for truth. I’m like, “Give it up dude! You suck, you’re boring, and you ain’t even cute! Why are you still here?" I’ve always been receptive to listening to the fear, and believing the fear is in reaction to reality. But as my reality gets better and the fear still talks about the same old crap, I’m really starting to wonder if it ever knew what it was talking about in the first place.


  1. What a lovely flower photo!

    Regarding negative scripts...I slowly worked through the ones I got from various relatives and teachers, resolving to fling those memories into the mental quicksand of lethe - when I realized that I was the author of some of my worst scripts. By that time, I'd had enough practice protecting myself from other people's disparaging remarks, that it became much easier to say, 'Self - I won't let you say that about me. Shut up and do something useful.'

    I haven't read Lamott - though I hear she's wonderful. I have benefited from Julia Cameron's Walking in the World for getting off artistic fences.

  2. you rock... just remember...YOU ROCK.

  3. I think that the thing that gets MY negative scripts going is compliments from other people. Almost like a defense mechanism. So what am I defending against?
    Love your blog. Gay

  4. I think compliments can get you going on negative internal thoughts because you don't think your work is worthy of the compliment in the first place. Then you think you can't live up to the praise, and on your mind goes to all the ways you fall short. I personally don't have this problem, but I've seen other artists who do.