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Exercise Wednesday: What scares you (part I)

May 9, 2012

I believe that one of the reasons I love Raiders of the Lost Ark is because Indiana Jones proves you can have a paralyzing and completely irrational fear of snakes and still do something heroic.

Snakes. Why'd it have to be snakes?

But today’s exercise isn’t about that kind of fear. Because, honestly, I could talk myself up to the point of being the woman in that picture. I wouldn’t enjoy it, and the string holding my sanity together would strain to the point of fraying, but I could–under the right circumstances–face that kind of fear. (And let me tell you, the idea of being buried in snakes is as close to a depiction of hell as I can imagine.)

Today, I’m talking about the things that really scare you. The emotional stuff. The stuff that comes from when you were a kid and someone let you down or abused you. The really deep stuff that you keep tucked away in a corner and don’t let anyone see.

The stuff that really matters.

Today’s exercise is to write about it. What you write is up to you. You can write a scene involving you or a character. You can right a rant aimed at the person who applied that hurt to you. You can write a poem or a haiku or just a series of curses.

But great writing sometimes requires a kind of internal courage that’s hard to force yourself through. And for that reason, I’m not going to post the results of this exercise for everyone to see. And I might not post next week’s. But I will do them.

They’re too valuable not to do.

Time limit:  25 minutes (or 55 minutes, but you’ll have to pay me at the end of the hour–and I don’t accept your medical plan for this kind of consultation).


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