Join us as Megan Derr goes Outside the Margins.
Just Do It
Last month, during Wizard World Comic Con, I was fortunate to attend Tyler Hoechlin’s Q&A panel. One of the question stuck with me because the woman who asked it sounded frustrated by his answer, and later at our table while chatting with us mentioned how frustrated she, in fact, was.
I don’t recall the exact wording, but the question boiled down to how exactly Tyler did scary things like auditions, surfing, etc. I think the woman was more interested in auditions and similar such. And Tyler’s answer was essentially ‘you just do it’.
Which is an accurate answer. When it comes down to it, you step up and you do it. You grit your teeth, you choke on the scream or the fit of tears, and you just do it. You get a similar thing in writing. How do you write? One word at a time. You just do it. As Neil Gaiman said, it’s that easy and that hard.
But I can see where that’s not a very helpful answer either, especially for people who are still held back by their fears.
I don’t know if I can help overmuch, but I am a person constantly afraid or nervous of many things, most of them revolving around interacting with people. I was the one who always accidentally whispered her class presentations, and then cried after they were done as all the terror of it finally drained out of me. I am one of many who is eternally grateful that I can email or text so much now, instead of having to call and call and call. Back when my shoulder first started hurting, I put off calling a doctor for six months because I dreaded both phones and doctors that much. I was so scared of driving I managed to put it off until I was twenty-seven.
Any of this sounding familiar? Well, there’s your first step in not letting fear hold you back. You’re not alone, most of the people around you probably have the same or very similar fears. Afraid of embarrassment? Let me tell you about the time I was so groggy and running late I dressed in the dark and didn’t notice until after I’d gotten to the office (with lots of walking and a 45 minutes bus ride where plenty of people saw me) that I was wearing two different shoes. And that’s just one of many, many such stories I have of me and my brilliant moments. I had to give a presentation in college, I had four points to go over. At the end of three I basically did the whole “and that’s that” thing and only the roomful of blank faces made me realize I’d skipped an entire quarter of my presentation. And it was even worse when I had to do presentations for Japanese class.
Everyone has such stories, because in the end that is what these dumb moments become: stories. To make other people laugh, to calm other people down, to remind yourself that the world won’t end if you fuck up or do something stupid or didn’t get accepted this time around.
But you won’t have those stories if you don’t first live them. So you think about all the reason this is worth the stress, you remember that you are not alone and everyone you talk to has a story that will make you cry laughing, and you remember that in a few years it’ll be just one more story for you to tell someone else. And you just do it.
~ Megan Derr
About Megan Derr
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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