A Message To Authors: Paddle Through It

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By Brian Feinblum, Chief Marketing Officer, SVP

The moment fear turns into exhilaration is an amazing one. I felt it several times during my family vacation to Cape Cod this past week. It’s a feeling all writers need to experience in order to be successful at their craft – and to enjoy and appreciate what they create.

One of my conversion moments, where fear or stress moves to fun and relaxation, came when I was kayaking with my 10-year-old son, who thinks he knows all things nautical simply because he knows more than me. I know very little about the world of boats.

He’s gotten to know a bit at his summer camp about wakes, water currents, tides, motorboats, etc.  But despite his attempt to calm me, I was whining for the first few minutes of our excursion at a beach by the bay in Well Fleet, MA.

“Don’t go near the motor boats,” I’d yell out.

They were 150 feet from us, I overreacted.

“Don’t shake the boat, it could tip over,” I’d scream out.

My son merely repositioned his body.  I clearly overreacted.

But then I settled down.  I realized the waters were calm and we were paddling just fine.  He’s a good swimmer and I can’t swim, which supports some of my nervosa, but I had a life jacket on.

As my concerns melted, they gave way to feelings of excitement and thrill-seeking. I let my curiosity move from fear and inquisitiveness of what could go wrong to more of a concern of what can I learn and appreciate. I settled into a groove, harnessing my energy to embrace the moment and to paddle with authority and conviction. I was on a journey and was fine with the unknown.

Later my son would have his moment of flipping out, fearing we’d enter water that was too shallow or filled with rocks. I reasoned there was nothing to fear and he chilled out.

But then we both had a real moment of concern.

We thought we spotted a seal, which gave us a reaction of “Oh, that is really cool.” Then we realized the seal could topple our boat, even accidentally.

Then we remembered that sharks follow seals.

We didn’t want to become lunch. We paddled away to safety, leaving us exhausted and yet feeling accomplished. We confronted danger and survived.

Writers can go through some of the same feelings that my son and I felt.  Before you can enjoy the journey, and hopefully celebrate the destination of your published works, you may go through periods of stress, doubt, or fear. It’s difficult to just dismiss such feelings and yet, that’s exactly what you need to do.

Paddle through it.

Slowly, but surely, you transform yourself. You get over the hump and the rest becomes smooth sailing.

It’s a beautiful view, so sit back and enjoy the ride.

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