Fear of Failure

It’s ironic that today marks a year ago(ish) that I wrote that really inspiring piece about picking your project and going through it, and how I was going to let nothing stop me from going through with my Super Hyper Pretty Magical Awesome idea. Okay, maybe not ironic. Let’s go with sad. Sad that I let practically everything stop me and I just tore it off the to-do list in favor of something else. And that was replaced by something else, and that was replaced by something else. Is anyone seeing a pattern here? Because I sure am.

Ever since I came to Japan, I have been incapable of finishing something. It’s kind of remarkable, considering how many projects I started and finished before I came here. I’ve recently started to question myself: Is it the lifestyle here? Is it because of stress? Have I lost my artistic voice? What’s wrong with me!? It came to a tipping point when my BFF here ran a 10K race that she’s been training for months for. And then it hit me that I have done exactly squat from what I’ve set out to do. Yes, I have been doing well with illoLife RPG, but have I really been pushing myself enough towards my goals? Have I pushed myself as much as I should have? I leave in four months, and I wanted to come back to the states with a plethora of work, and just jump right into the freelance market.

Am I even close to that? The answer is a resounding no.

I would have let myself get deeper into self loathing about this, were it not for the fact that I started listening to the Scriptnotes podcast this week, and I happened upon episode 131: Procrastination and Pageorexia, in which they talked about writer’s fear, and how procrastination can really build into a fear of failing. And as I was listening to this, I realized that this was exactly what I was doing.

All of this has been a good wake up call, because I have been terrified of finishing the project I was, well, working on, but am not at the moment. It’s a comic short that would turn the damsel in distress troupe on its head. The more people I tell about it, the more confirmation I get from people that, yes, I need to make this so they can read it. So the pressure builds up, and I freeze up, afraid that whatever my next move will be, will ruin everything that I’m striving for. But at least I understand that it’s fear that is holding me back, nothing more. I have the skills, I’ve honed my talent. I just need to get back into the pool without worrying that I’m going to drown.

I will overcome the fear.

I need to work harder, and I need you, faithful readers, to hold me acountable. Get on my case! Don’t see new art from me for a while (which you haven’t), GET ON MY CASE. Demand new art! Demand the next comic! Do it, because I clearly need to get some cheerleaders to help me along.

4 Replies to “Fear of Failure”

  1. Excellent post. Fear of failure can definitely paralyze, and I agree that the only real way to overcome it is to just power through it. You’ve already done the hardest part by recognizing and acknowledging the situation.

    Anyway, I’d be happy to pester you! What’s a reasonable schedule to expect output before badgering you? Or should I just start right now?

    1. I’m thinking that if new art isn’t posted by-weekly, you are free to get on my case all you want. Like I am working on the comic you and I talked about when you were here, but I’ve already started to do concept stuff, so I have no excuse to not post things and be accountable for showing my work lol!

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