October 25, 2014

You Know You Can By Vickie Stam

I can remember a time when I had a strong desire to watch a 'spine-chiller' on the big screen. As soon as one was advertised on television; I was hooked. I wanted to go. No matter how long the line up, I refused to leave until I was certain the tickets were sold out. But I wasn't alone. Being with someone made it easy to persevere. Nasty rain pellets couldn't dampen our spirits nor shivering in the blistering cold. Nothing could keep us away.

It was the experience of terror that I enjoyed. Sitting in the dark with my popcorn in hand I could feel my heart racing long before the opening credits started to roll and when they did I knew I was in for a chilling ride.

The eerie background music almost always set the tone that something frightening was about to happen. I quickly set my popcorn down and waited; not with eyes wide open but with eyes shut and hands shielding them so not even a trickle of horror could seep through. Other moments I cupped my hands over my ears hoping to drown out the blood curdling screams. I saw what I needed to see and heard what I needed to hear. The entire time my heart was leaping inside my chest but when I was caught off guard I jumped sending pebbles of popcorn everywhere. Afterwards, I laughed. I loved every minute of it!

So, why did I rush to see something that raised the hair on my arms? Why did I choose to witness something that left me clutching the sides of my seat in terror? Because I loved being caught in the grip of fear. I enjoyed the element of surprise. Imagine if all these years later I could say the same thing when I'm faced with the fears of writing.

"I love every minute of it." "I love being afraid."

Too bad that watching a scary flick and putting words down on paper do not bring about the same fears. The techniques I used while watching a 'spine-chiller' are not the most affective tools to use when it comes time to writing. Covering my eyes and ears simply isn't productive.

What I do know is that all those years ago I embraced something I enjoyed. I didn't care what anyone thought. I was having a good time. If I apply that same strategy to my writing I'm bound to produce something incredible simply because "I love every minute of it!"

Sure, I need to remind myself why it is that I write, especially when my fears are trying to convince me that I'm not good enough, that no one will like what I've written and no one will want to read it. The list could go on.

I realize that not all fear is bad. It teaches me to persevere. It tests me; calling on me to do my best. So when I feel my fears creeping up on me.... I'm glad that I'm not alone. I'm glad that I have friends and family who encourage my pleasure for writing. "Keep writing! they say...Don't stop! Don't be afraid! You can do it! You know you can!"

Psalm 118:6 "The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"


  1. "The techniques I used while watching a 'spine-chiller' are not the most effective tools to use when it comes time to writing. Covering my eyes and ears simply isn't productive."

    This made me chortle out loud, Vickie.

    Your point is well taken. Vicarious fear is much different from personal fear. Supportive family and friends makes a huge difference!

  2. I love spine-chillers too!
    Enjoyed your article !
    Keep on writing!
    Terrie Lynne

  3. I've always enjoyed a good 'spine-chiller' too--but I have many friends who can't relate (None of them would ever watch a good Stephen King movie with me) and think I"m weird. I don't care--so I'm weird. I guess I should think more like that when I write--at least the "I don't care" part. I like your slant on the whole fear thing. Thanks.


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