05 November 2014

Confronting terror

by Cara Christine Hubbell
Every so often I'll come across an idea that fills me with irrational terror. I felt that way about the idea of reading a particular nonfiction piece in front of a roomful of strangers, knowing that I was incapable of reading the piece aloud without crying. It's not the terror associated with any real danger; it's associated with the illusion of a lack of safety, usually emotional/psychological. I'd been mocked and ridiculed for my tendency to blush or cry at the drop of a hat when I was younger. I'd learned not to show my feelings, not to be vulnerable to my peers. Kids can be real assholes.

But as an adult, I didn't need to hold onto that fear anymore. So I chose to confront it. I read my piece, I cried pretty much the entire time, and if anyone thought less of me for it, they had the decency not to say so. As a result I felt freer and stronger. After confronting that terror and anxiety leading up to that reading, the normal nervousness associated with getting up in front of strangers or doing something new paled by comparison.

A couple weeks ago, someone told me about the Writers' Program at Float On, a facility in Portland that has sensory deprivation float tanks, and I felt that irrational terror once again. Which is why I decided to do it. Contrary to my imagination, it was a very pleasant, very non-scary experience. I'm looking forward to floating again next week and seeing what comes up.

ROW80 Update

"A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life."

Show up to writing 2-3 hours/day. Umm...I'm showing up to writing every weekday, so that's good. DigiWriMo started on Saturday, but I was traveling all weekend and didn't make writing a priority while I was gone, so I've started the month behind. This past week I finished a travel blog post and my first piece for Float On. I started two more travel blog posts and have been working on a short story. Because I'm working on several pieces in stages and I've found that I have no patience for trying to figure out what words I wrote on what day, I'm only counting words for blog posts and stories when they're done. On the other hand, I'm counting some words twice for other projects, so hopefully it'll all even out. Words I've counted so far this week: 3,264 including this post. 

Be an active ROW80 sponsor. On track. 

Read for fun. On track. I read Royal Assassin by Robin Hobbs and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. 

Continue posting twice a week on this blog. On track! Thanks to Kristen Strassel, who agreed to do a guest post on how she defines success as a writer. 

Wow, in retrospect, I actually accomplished quite a lot this week. Why does it never feel like enough? 

How are things going with your writing goals? Are you participating in any writing challenges this month? 

This is a blog hop! Click here to read other ROW80 participants' mid-week check-ins.


  1. You really ARE on track. I know it never feels like it, but when you write it down, you realize you've done more than you thought. :)

    1. Right?? That's one of the advantages to doing a writing challenge like ROW80: I'm prompted to actually keep track so that I face the fact of what I did (or didn't do) rather than just whether I feel productive.