Fight the Fear
I am angry at an airline. It’s not an airline I usually fly. Their booking process makes me feel all angsty. They charged for check bags.
When an airline charges for checked bags it only makes sense that people who have already shelled out for a ticket don’t want to pay extra just to bring their things along. It makes further sense that people who want to bring things will cram as much as humanly possible (babies, kitchen sinks, sandwiches) into their carry on.
Now comes the math. If people don’t want to pay extra just to bring their things along, and everyone is cramming kitchen sinks into their carry on, and no one is enforcing the “your-carry-on-bags-must-be-this-big” rule, planes are going to run out of bin space. It only makes sense.
So what happens? Tense negative announcements via Cruella DeAirline:
This is going to be a full flight. Stuffed to the gills. Do you hear me? Every seat will be taken. Every single sitting surface is occupied. That means we’re going to run out of bin space you naughty children for bringing all that big luggage. If we don’t get twenty people to gate check their bags, you’re going to be very very sorry. You better do it. Or else.
That’s what the announcements feel like. And this announcement isn’t made once. It’s made three, four, sometimes five times. When I hear this, and I know I’m later in the boarding process, I get anxious. I get flight anxiety before we even leave the ground. Heart racing. Breathing heavy. Unattractive sweat.
Is there going to be room for my bag? What’ll I do if there isn’t room? For the love of all things holy what will I do with my bag?
I won’t lie. The announcements freak me out. The airline is trying to scare me into gate checking a bag before they know they’ll run out of room. It’s working.
And it’s unnecessary.
On my most recent three trips with this airline I get on the plane and there’s plenty of space. I put my knapsack in the bin right above my seat. Everything is calm and right with the world.
That pisses me off.
The fear is unnecessary. The lecture is unnecessary. The you better do this preemptive scolding is unnecessary.
Unnecessary Fear in Our Writing
What unnecessary fear do you have in your life? What preemptive negative thoughts hover over your writing? Who is scolding you?
Why don’t you get a real job? Why aren’t you cleaning the house? You’re just wasting your time.
Is that voice telling you to give up?
You’ll never be a writer, why bother? What are you fooling around for? Do you know how many writers get rejected on a daily basis? How many fail?
Maybe the voice you hear is yours.
I don’t have time. I’ll never finish. No one will like this, it’s no good.
You need to fight the fear. That is what those negative voices are: fear.
- Fear of the unknown.
- Fear of something that hasn’t happened yet.
- Fear of bin space that hasn’t run out.
You have no idea what the real story will be till you finish your work. It may be rejected, but it may not. You have no idea if the plane will run out of bin space until it actually does.
Don’t be afraid of something that hasn’t happened yet with your writing. Don’t let fear stop you from picking up a pen or finishing a draft. Take a deep breath when the scolding starts and do the only proactive thing possible.