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Distraction has been running rampant through my life lately. At first, I thought it was a feeling of being overwhelmed, but when I noticed I preferred playing Assassin's Creed instead of working on a writing assignment that was due at 11:59 PM that evening, distraction seemed to be a better fit.

As this summer comes to an end, lots of new beginnings loom on the horizon: my oldest son starts high school (when the heck did that happen?!), my other two boys start first and third grades, and work on my thesis (aka my novel) should be well under way. Looking at these things, being the planner girl that I am, I made lists, marked important dates, and used stickers and washi wherever I could. Items came off the list:

Buy school supplies. Check.

Organize and pack them. Check.

The one thing that didn't seem to make any movement off my list was working on my thesis. Every time I sat down at the keyboard or sat down to research, something always came up.

I don't have the right notebook.

I need to clean the litter box.

I'll wait until the kids go to sleep to write.

[Insert random excuse here.]

When I sat down and took stock of things, one thing was clear: my distraction stemmed from my fear. I want to sit down and make progress on my thesis. But, when I stare at the blinking cursor, fingers poised to type, fear set in. Will I get this done on time? Have I done enough research? Will anyone read and like this? These questions plague me, feeding the fear that keeps me from writing, from starting to make some progress towards achieving a lifelong dream.

These questions have no concrete answers and that is the toughest part. My being needs to have exact answers. There is no room for any grey areas. That fear of the unknown, of rejection, has kept me from writing the novel that I know is inside of me. I realize now that my motivation to write my novel has been all wrong. Would I love to write a best seller? Of course! Would I love to make a profit from it? You know it! But, worrying about those things have kept me from doing the thing that I love. When I began the pursuit of authorship, it was my love of reading and writing that drove me. I wanted to write a book that people will love and want to read over and over. Was I thinking about rejection or profits? No. All I wanted to do was write. I wanted to take that crazy dream of mine and make it a reality. But then fear caught hold of me and choked the life out of that desire. It made me believe that my life needed to be about other things and to go after that instead.

Now as I look back on those years, I can see that fear had gotten its way and led me away from my passion. I accomplished other things instead, like finishing college and becoming a mother. However, now I'm in a season where I'm ready to tackle the next thing. Writing beckons to me again, but so does the fear. And it's trying hard to wrench this dream out of my hands. This time around, I will fight the fear that comes disguised as a distraction. Like a locust, it has already eaten away at time, trying to leave a wasteland in its wake. But not this time.

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