Dreadless: An Introduction

I’m going to interrupt regular programming on this blog for about a month to tell you all a story.

Today’s blog was supposed to be 101 TIWIK #80: Methods of Distribution. As I started writing it, I came to the realization that I don’t know nearly enough about the subject to do it justice in the space of time that I had to write the blog. The last 20ish posts in 101 Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Wrote My First Book will be about all of the parts of writing that occur after the book is written: planning and implementing your business strategy. I had a plan for how to approach this, but the issues I ran into when I started to write about distribution made me realize that I need to rethink the plan a bit.

And I thought, why not tell everyone this story that has been burning to be told, while I take time to reassess?

I’ll be telling the story in a twelve-part blog series to which I’ve given the dramatic title: Dreadless. This is a true story, a story about me and something very important that happened in my life recently. It is somewhat urgent that I commit this story to written word soon, because already the emotional resonance is fading.

Dreadless is the story of how I faced and overcame my deepest fear. It was a fear that was limiting my life and defining me as a person. I learned a lot in the process of confronting and overcoming this fear, and I want to share both the story and the strategies I learned.

Who is Dreadless for?

Writers: Many of you are following my blog for the writing advice. Fear not; even though Dreadless is not about craft specifically, I believe it will touch upon many of the principles of storytelling. I intend to talk about how story, language, and imagination can be used for personal growth, and I think that is something writers can benefit from hearing.

Readers: Dreadless will be a combination of narrative and personal essay, with the ultimate goal being to tell my story in an interesting and enriching manner. Anyone who enjoys a good story will be able to read Dreadless for enjoyment.

Finally, Dreadless is for anyone who has ever been limited by fear, shame, anxiety, or self-hatred, and wants to begin to step beyond these limitations. It is for people who currently identify with a false story about themselves, and want to change that story.

Disclaimer

In Dreadless, I will be talking about my personal experiences, then drawing conclusions about those experiences and presenting these conclusions as a possible strategies for people who want to grow out of their self-imposed limitations. I should begin by stating that I am not a mental health professional, and I do not intend any advice offered in this blog series to be taken as a solution to mental health issues. Anyone reading this blog series who believes they have a serious mental health issue should contact a mental health professional. If you are already seeing a professional, you should discuss the methods presented in this blog with your professional before attempting them.

What is Dreadless about?

Dreadless is about story. I am going to tell my story, and I am going to talk about the way we create stories to understand the world around us, and how these stories can become damaging and need to be changed.

Dreadless is about emotions–fear, shame, humiliation, self-hatred–and how those emotions can lead to habitual, destructive behaviors, and what you can do to break those habits.

Dreadless is about forging your own path through fear. No one can tell you where to start, or how fast you should move. In Dreadless I’m going to discuss some of the strategies I used to get away from “this is where I should be,” and get closer to “this is where I am, this is where I want to be, and this is how I’m going to get there.”

Finally, Dreadless is about healthy coping versus unhealthy coping. Fear doesn’t go away immediately when you begin to confront it. In order to work through your fears, you must to have strategies for coping with them. Unhealthy coping strategies might get temporarily dull the fear, but healthy coping strategies will help you actually conquer fear for good. In the last part of Dreadless, I’ll reveal the healthy strategies I used to conquer my deepest fear.

In the next post, Dreadless #1: Success, I’ll begin by telling the end of my story. Yes, it will have spoilers. But we can’t take this journey without first defining the destination.

Dreadless Table of Contents:

  1. Success

  2. The False Story

  3. The True Story

  4. Enemy Reinforcements

  5. Start Where You Are

  6. Riding the Edge of Fear

  7. What Is Fear?

  8. Healthy Coping

  9. Everything Is a Dance

  10. Support Systems

  11. Permission to Be

  12. In Conclusion

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