What is at Stake?

During my time at Fairfield University’s MFA program, I had the chance to work with many talented faculty members.  Lary Bloom, a veteran journalist and writer, manned the world of nonfiction.  He always asked students to identify what is at stake with a story? What matters?

Why should anyone care what we have to say?

Last night I read through this section about fear in Pressfield’s The War of Art:

Fear of the consequences of following our heart. Fear of bankruptcy, fear of poverty, fear of insolvency. Fear of groveling when we try to make it on our own, and of groveling when we give up and come crawling back to where we started. Fear of being selfish, of being rotten wives or disloyal husbands; fear of failing to support our families, of sacrificing their dreams for ours…Fear of throwing away the education, the training, the preparation that those we love have sacrificed so much for, that we ourselves have worked our butts off for. Fear of launching into the void, of hurtling too far out there; fear of passing some point of no return, beyond which we cannot recant, cannot reverse, cannot rescind, but must live with this cocked-up choice for the rest of our lives.

Every line made sense. I’ve felt the sting of the emotions and worry in the dark times.  He continues this section by saying that none of these match up with the “Master Fear, the Mother of all Fears that’s so close to us that even when we verbalize it we don’t believe it.”

Fear That We Will Succeed.


Photo Credit: Arya Ziai via Compfight cc

Success pulls us out of our comfort zone.  It makes us into the person we’ve chased since we were children.  It is the culmination of our efforts and the force allowing us to change the world. We surpass the expectations of our teachers, parents, friends and loved ones. As you go forward, embrace success and give yourself permission to stand out.

Take the risk. Make a difference.

Break from the crowd.

See where it takes you.