When my husband and I joined a gym together, he introduced me to the box jump. In theory, it’s simple, a metal platform that you jump on with both feet at the same time. You can move to higher levels as you advance in ability. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work.
In theory, publishing is simple too. You have a great idea. You write it down on paper. You publish it, and it becomes a New York Times’ best seller.
And you laugh. Of course, publishing doesn’t work that way. Mastering the box jump isn’t so easy either. In fact, it has many parallels with the writing life.
Mental Hurdle: Fear
When I first step up to the box jump, all I can envision is catching my foot on the bottom and losing my front teeth. So, I stretch, procrastinate, and then finally step toward it. Deep breath. Swing arms. Grit teeth. And … freeze.
James gently reminds me, “It’s all in your head, you know.”
Mostly, he’s right. There are my physical limitations, but what’s really holding me back is my fear of getting hurt.
We writers have our share of fears, don’t we? Sometimes, we call them “writer’s block” where try as we might, we can’t find the next word of our project. We stress that we’ll never be able to finish, and our paralysis freezes up the wheels of our imaginations.
Other times, we face the fear of rejection from agents and editors. Although refusals are a realistic part of the writer’s life, that doesn’t mean they sting any less. Perhaps even more unnerving is the day we do publish something, and we fear no one will read it or like it.
However, as Scripture reminds us, fear is not supposed to be our focus. 2 Timothy 1:7 states:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (NKJV).
Although this truth doesn’t discount our very real fears, it does redirect our attention to think on what is true and what we can do through the power of Christ.
Even if you’re not a writer, you can probably relate. What are some personal “box jumps” you’ve had to overcome?
Box Jumps in the Writing Life – @kjhogrefe on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)