Why Demons are Our Friends

Sorry, not an entry about paranormal romance!  I’d have to leave that one to my daughter.

This is about our personal demons, the things external or internal that make us break out in a cold sweat.  Not stuff like being afraid of bugs, which I consider PERFECTLY NORMAL even though my Dear Hubby laughs at me every time I make him kill a spider.  I’m talking about the fears that make us break out in a cold sweat and want to dive into the nearest dark corner to hide every time we think of them.

Deadlines are a good example for me.  Currently I am revising my next book.  I am on schedule. The writing may not go perfectly smoothly every day, but it progresses.  I enjoy the chance to make my book better.  All is well, right?  Right??

Except for the sinister little voice in my head whispering “deadline…it’s coming up…gonna be here before you know it….” and it’s making me a bit paranoid.  I’m not quite waking up in a cold sweat every night, but I tell myself before going to sleep that I better not waste any time the next day, cause I gotta turn in my work soon.  I hate that teeny weeny voice, but it’s doing me a service.  Thanks to its nagging, I’m not letting myself play in the sunshine or goof off (much) because once I turn in the revisions it will finally shut up.  At least till the next deadline.

Once the Deadline Demon is placated, others will come forward to replace him.  Some, like stage fright, I’ve become inured to over the years.  Others may always have a hold on me.  For example, it is still difficult for me to put my words out there for others to critique, even people who I know are helpful and supportive and on my side.  I’m still terrified of sounding stupid.

But fears must be conquered if any of us are to move forward.  Our personal demons befriend us when they tell us where we can be better.  Do the work to meet the deadline.  Get up in front of the crowd and speak.  Send the query letter.  Even (shudder) kill the bug.  You may fail.  You may not.  You may freak out completely.  Do it again.  No heroine ever got what she wanted by giving up.

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