Fear and Self-Loathing in Murrumbateman

Pilot: A Diary for Writers

Remember me?  I’ve inadvertently been on a wee little journey of self-discovery, starting with avoiding my computer some time ago, and ending with listening to a podcast in the car this morning.  I have justified not being consistent with blog posts because I didn’t have much to write, I’ve been really busy, I need to have some downtime, I’ve been travelling.  I’ve been fully aware that I was procrastinating – but I learned a bunch of fascinating truths listening to Elizabeth Gilbert‘s Magic Lessons podcast that I took to my very heart and the first one (and the one I struggled hardest with) was that procrastination comes from fear.

Procrastination comes from fear….No, I’m just really busy…

Procrastination comes from fear…..No…I mean, someone has to make dinner/tidy up.

Procrastination comes from fear…I have to contribute to the house and manage this crazy family…

Procrastination comes from fear….No, I need to have some mentally ‘free’ space sometimes just for myself…

Procrastination comes from fear….I AM going to get it done one day, just not now..there’s plenty of time.

So, I’m calling bullshit on myself….‘BullSHIT Self!’

Because while I haven’t been writing a blog post, writing in my journal, writing at all – I’ve been gardening, sewing, crocheting, making terrariums (seriously, you should see the crap load of terrariums around my house now – the kids are hiding glass jars from me), painting and lalala justifying that this creativity, this making is just as important as the thing I’m supposed to be doing.  Writing.  It is – and it’s not.  Making things keeps me happy, writing helps my sanity.

I haven’t yet read Elizabeth’s book Big Magic, (I haven’t even read Eat, Pray, Love because I have this stubbornly stupid interior rebellion which means I won’t read books that people are collectively enjoying – yeah I’m working on that one) but I was intrigued to read in one review that Big Magic is such a great cheerleader for living creative lives – particularly aimed at writers and if ever there was a person who wanted to be kicked royally up the arse, it would be me.  I have however started to listen to Elizabeth’s podcast Magic Lessons – which is why I’m getting on here finally, all fired up and introspective and stuff, because if procrastination comes from fear…what am I afraid of?

  • I’m afraid of taking something away from my family by giving myself to a ‘big’ task of writing…and as it may not come to anything wouldn’t that be a waste of time?
  • I’m afraid of finding out that I’m a bit shit; that no-one will like reading what I write.
  • I’m afraid of upsetting family members because I once wrote a great essay about childhood, but in it I called my mum ‘the sandwich queen’ and it hurt her feelings enormously in a way I hadn’t expected.
  • And ridiculously, I’m afraid of being successful with my writing, because I don’t know what that would look like and if I could handle it.

But my biggest fear that sits on the other side of this scale is that I will procrastinate away and never, ever find out how much peace/strength/joy I get from writing.

Elizabeth says in the first of her Magic Lessons (something like) “enough – you’ve done all the preparation; it’s time to go”.

So, I’m going.  I think.  Probably.  I’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo again and I’ll be doing daily arse on chair in front of the computer there and we will just see what comes of it.  The lesson I took this morning aside from procrastination comes from fear, is one I already knew but had very conveniently forgotten – that this writing gig is about writing for yourself, first and foremost.  So with all those chickens sorted, I’m kind of, sort of, looking forward to what happens next.

Feel free to call me on this, if you bump into me anytime – I’m telling you all now to make myself accountable.  I am certain to regret that later.

(And P.S. I found Eat, Pray, Love just sitting there waiting for me at the op shop today – definitely a sign, so I am finally going to give it a crack as well.)

Have you had a profound moment lately?  Want to share?  I could probably do with all the learning and stuff.


About Alyson

I am a 45+ chick. I live in the country with 3 almost (apparently) adult children teenagers, 1 husband and many animals. Here's the thing: The black dog also hangs with me occasionally and, thank the baby cheeses, life is not perfect. That's OK, because I work hard to be a glass half-full person and I can't lie! I write to help my head, heart and humor...and I tell myself 'I've got this!'


  1. Great too see you back, it was also great to see you Go (have a break that is) your obviously refreshed again.
    Look forward to reading the next episode!
    You will enjoy eat pray love xx

  2. Al, I think you are amazing and inspirational! My black dog can be very overwhelming at times and I too am one of the great procrastinators!!!! I love everything you write and am so pleased your ‘creative juices’ are flowing again!

  3. You ain’t gonna find out that you’re “a bit shit”… Not gonna happen…

  4. Your writing isn’t shit, Al. Your writing rocks and so do you.

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