Facing the scary

Today I’ve been working on financial-related things, including sorting out my potential unemployment benefits. I had to re-read the materials I’ve been sent and make sure that I understand everything correctly, and I had to call and ask about some things that I didn’t understand. I have a better idea now of what I’m able to get and what the limitations are. And, I’m more scared today than I’ve been since I left my old job.

I’m not going to get into the details, those are my business to wrangle and no one else’s. But dealing with all of this brings me face to face with the scariness of what I’ve been feeling all month that I really want to do … strike out on my own and write for a living. Not be beholden to anyone else for the work I do, and not be backed up by anyone else either. Have the freedom to work in my own way and time, and the responsibility to find my own clients and projects and get crap done. Exhilarating and scary, all at once. Mostly so far I’ve been thinking about the exhilarating side; today is rubbing my nose in the scary. Big time.

I’m kind of not sorry. I have never heard that rose-colored glasses were beneficial to the hard work of getting a new thing started, or making big changes. But it’s not fun, either. Being scared never really is. I don’t even like watching scary movies.

I spent the morning working on the scary-making stuff, and then broke for lunch, and then spent a good while dragging my feet on getting back to work. I know I was just avoiding actually feeling scared, but in the end I sat down and faced it as honestly as I can. I cried, and I prayed for guidance, and I thought about what I want and what I don’t know yet. I thought too about what I’ve been praying all along (whatever God chooses for me, that’s what I want, no matter what), and reconfirmed my commitment to it. I prayed that even though I’m scared right now, I still want to do the best possible thing for myself and for the world I live in; even though I don’t know yet if I have the courage to walk into uncertainty, I wish I had the courage, I want to have it. I don’t want to retreat toward a safe, dull life. I had that, and it tried its hardest to break me. I still feel like losing my job was actually a form of rescue from that. I don’t want to turn around and go back. It makes my heart sink to think about it.

I have to face the hard truth right now that I have NO idea how to start or run a business, or how to find clients, or how to market myself, or how much money I will need to live on, when I’m responsible for paying my own taxes and whatnot, or how much time and work it will require, or how many dear things I may need to give up. I’m pretty sure my family won’t let me starve, but that’s the only solid certainty I’ve got. The rest is going to be up to me, and I don’t know if I can do it. Can I learn what I need to? Probably. Can I make it happen? No idea.

Am I going to try?

Please God, help me answer yes.


5 comments so far

  1. Jennigma on

    A lot of counties have a small business support office; someone who will consult with you and help you understand the pedestrian things needed to get a business going. There are a *lot* of good blogs on freelance writing, and how to market and run businesses based on writing.

    Start local. Talk to the local papers and whatnot. It won’t make you $$, but it will get you some skills that will help you deal professionally and well with bigger fish when you land them.

  2. brother on

    One step at a time. You faced the scary truth today. Tomorrow, work on the fun part of the process. Write something extra. Don’t pick the scary stuff up until Thursday.

  3. sarah on


    What (your?) brother said. If you can, take time to catch your breath before facing more scary stuff. And don’t stop writing, don’t stop the words flowing.

  4. Other brother on

    I agree with brother, write something fun today just because you can.

  5. Lab Cat on

    Facing up to scary is brave but takes a lot of energy. Be gentle to yourself too.

    I love the fact your brothers are behind you!

    As for starting a new business, there must be online information and local support groups you can go to for advice and help. Also help you feel less alone.

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