I'm sitting here in the Bodleian library, probably one of the most inspirational places in the world for a book-lover / writer like me. I've got the Radcliffe Camera looming over me through the window on my right, more old stonework on my left, and books all around (along with their delightful old-book smell!). The wind is raging around the building but it's cozy here in the Lower Reading Room. I can hear the gentle 'tap tap tap' of fingers on keyboards, the soft rustle of pages being turned, the occasional whisper. The air is full of concentration, inspiration just waiting to be grasped.
And here I am, inspired, for sure, wide awake, ready to be productive. I've got the whole afternoon ahead of me, well into the evening, in fact. No plans. Nowhere to be. Just me, my laptop, and my notebook - a tantalising trio ready to embrace creativity one word at a time! Yet... I'm staring not only a blank page, but a blank document, too.
As I take in my surroundings, I can't help but wonder - what's holding me back? Oh, the answer is all too simple: fear.
I was browsing through my Instagram the other night and came across this caption that I wrote:

Dreaming of possibilities fills me with excitement, anticipation, hope, wonder... but equally all those possibilities can leave me feeling overwhelmed, confused, paralyzed, doubtful. Fear has a way of taking our deepest dreams and warping them into something frightening and unattainable Fear of what? Failure? Inadequacy? Those things are almost certain if we give into fear. Take a stand. Embrace the possibilities. Dream. Set goals. Don't let fear win.

It's okay to preach to ourselves right?! I wrote that twenty-four weeks ago, according to Instagram, and I find it incredibly ironic that I'm in a very similar place, all these weeks later - but in a different set of circumstances.
The annoying thing with fear is that it crops up again and again. Like so many things in life, overcoming fear is not a destination, but a journey.
So, here I am, on the journey, determined not to give into fear; just writing about it has loosened its grip on my creativity.  I'm ready to leave fear behind, aren't you? I'm ready to step into all situations, fearless, again and again.

*photo by Mark (a.k.a. my amazing husband)

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