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I finished writing the short story of the stranded Bahamas fishermen! It ships off to my editor as soon as she returns from vacation! (Marcy quit having so much fun and come edit my story!) The joy in my heart would not be properly expressed even if I ended every sentence in an exclamation point!!!!!

Joy because one of four partially complete projects is straining toward the finish line. Joy because my two toughest critics gave it a golden stamp of approval that went something like, “Wow Mom, I didn’t know you could write like that,” and “I did. I’ve known for a long time.” Joy because of another super secret opportunity related to the story that is so close to bursting out of me. I hate secrets. Gotta change the subject quick before it explodes.

Since finishing the writing part, when I’m not tweeking, because I do that always until the file is taken out of my hands or someone cuts my fingers off, whichever happens first, I’ve been writing and compiling all of the boring stuff that goes in the front, before page 1. (I love blogging simply because I feel the freedom to write crazy long sentences like that one and Marcy doesn’t edit these.) This leads us to the Preface.

According to Eliza’s Writing Jug, a preface can be my best ad campaign, one of the first things someone reads, and could determine the purchasing decision. It can include a general description, my purpose, source of inspiration, my feelings about it or my experiences during the writing process. My experiences throughout writing this story and the whole process of starting my own publishing empire center around overcoming obstacles, most of them rooted in fear. So that’s what I wrote about in the preface.

Now my question: Will you read the preface and tell me what you think? Is it too serious and heavy? The story is about survival, faith and second chances. Is fear too far off base to be the preface topic for this story? I value your opinion. The preface . . .

Fear Doesn’t Stay in the Open Water

U.S. Coast Guard manual on how to survive in open water — “Open water is the most inhospitable place on our planet. The most predominant psychological barrier to survival is fear: fear of the unknown, fear of discomfort, and fear of one’s own weakness.”

Fear is the number one psychological barrier to everything. It lies at the root of procrastination. It is what holds us back from taking the next step toward success. It is the foundation for the reason you haven’t done __________ . It is the reason I sometimes find myself doing laundry instead of writing, reading instead of writing, looking at Facebook instead of writing, pretty much anything instead of writing.

We all have fear. Mike and Anthony were terrified during the days, and even more, the nights, clinging to the slippery bottom of the tiny cap sized boat. Mike couldn’t help but think about the movie Jaws and Anthony had spent hours watching the Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” prior to the fateful fishing trip. Submerged in about six inches of water the entire time they were stranded kept the threat of being eaten alive fresh in their minds. The thing is, they overcame that immense fear and clung to hope.

Now they have a second chance. Two lives, thought to be gone, are healthy and safe. They want to change their lives, do something different from what they did before, do something good and positive, and make a difference for others.  There is a great need on the islands of the Bahamas to help kids and mentor them, maybe through a sports program. Perhaps one of them will become a preacher to save souls like they have been saved. Pouring energy into strengthening family relations that are important to them could become a focus. Whatever new path in life they choose, it won’t come easy because fear doesn’t stay in the open water.

Fear follows us everywhere. It crops up when people close to us express doubt about our next big idea. It keeps us in dead-end jobs. It prevents us from saying what we really think. It won’t allow us to finish that degree, take a risk, or make the phone call. It is the barrier to success, freedom, and adventure.

Overcoming fear can lead to our greatest accomplishments. Mike and Anthony will need to maintain courage to leap obstacles that will attempt to dissuade them from making significant life changes. I must conquer doubts to press forward in my dream of establishing a multi-media digital publishing empire, beginning with this first short story. You will have to triumph over fear to reach your full potential.

What is your dream? What will you do to make a difference in the lives of other? What talents and abilities can you capitalize on to meet a need?

Here’s to hoping you dream big dreams and overcome fear to achieve them.

Comments please. Go.