What I Mean When I Say Fuck the Fear

When I was a kid, I used to read a lot of music magazines: Cream, Rolling Stone, gossip rags, really.

But there was one interview with Eric Clapton–a sentence actually–that utterly confounded me. The guitarist said that every day he woke up and wondered what he would get the blues about.

Why would someone as famous as Eric Clapton actively try to find something to depress him? I couldn’t figure it out. My confusion, so clear now, was a result of my own adolescence, my inexperience.

The blues are not not something you set out to get. They come to you.

Fear works the same way. You don’t have to worry about its visits. Fear is as timely as a train schedule. You may not see it yet, but somewhere down the tracks, it’s barreling toward your station.

My brain is the Grand Central of fear.

I’m afraid of starting. I’m afraid I won’t finish. I’m afraid at just about every stage in the process. That’s not to say there’s no joy along the way. Of course there is. But creative work is the culmination of thousands of small decisions, each branching off into hundreds and hundreds of possibilities. It would be unusual not to be overwhelmed.

So for me fuck the fear is not a declaration of liberation. It’s a affirmation, an acknowledgment that this fear will transform into that one followed by the next and on and on, and the best I can do is say, fuck it, I’m going to try and get some stuff done anyway.

(x-posted from fthef.com)