When Fear Got in the Way
The Library of Congress has 39 million books.
Which makes it one big library
But you know what would be a far bigger library? The Library of Books That Were Never Written.
The books people said they would write - they would start first thing tomorrow! The books that people hoped they would write - if only they had time! The books that weren't turning out the way the writers imagined, so they cast them aside, never to return to them.
In other words, the books the world will never see. And the world will never see them because fear got in the way.
Fear keeps us from starting tomorrow, and it masquerades brilliantly as excuses - I need to have the oil changed, it's too late in the day to start writing, I should really go to that bookshop I've always wanted to go to. I'll start tomorrow, we tell ourselves. And keep on tomorrow-ing our book until there are no tomorrows.
Fear keeps us from thinking we don't have time - but we still found a way to change the oil, go to the bookstore, brush our teeth, check in on Instagram. We had time. We just didn't use it to write.
And fear keeps us from returning to that draft that wasn't turning out the way we wanted - fear that we don't have the talent to make it what we imagined. Safer to dump the draft rather than try again, for fear we'd confirm our suspicions.
It's fear that makes The Library of Books That Were Never Written, Museum of Art That Was Never Made, Album of Songs That Were Never Composed much bigger than any collection of anything that ever was made.
But it's heart, mixed with guts and gumption, that writes books, makes art, composes music.
We each come into the world with both heart and fear. So the question is: Which will we choose?
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