Weeknotes 2023 W42:
Fear of failure

October 16​–​22, 2023
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Quick bits:

I’m coming to terms with the fact that I have quite the fear of failure.

Not in all aspects of life, though. The software developer side of me, probably the biggest part of who I am, barely sees any fear of failure. I’ve got heaps of experience, both personal and professional. I still make mistakes on occasion, don’t get me wrong, but when I do, it doesn’t feel like failing. I also keep learning still, but I don’t feel the occasional lack of knowledge or experience as failure, either.

When it comes to everything else, the situation is quite different. I feel that fear much more around writing or acting. When it comes to acting, it’s quite obvious why: I just haven’t received adequate training.

But even for writing, which I think I am somewhat competent at, I fear failure. It’s not that I don’t want to share my work — I definitely do — but I only feel comfortable doing so when the stakes are quite low.

I want to point out that fear of failure is orthogonal to skill level: a great writer can have a crippling fear of failure and a mediocre writer can have no fear at all. Becoming better at writing won’t reduce my fear of failure, so I’ll need to work on that separately.

I’ve not written much fiction lately, and that bothers me a little. I want to try my hand at longer stories — a novella, perhaps, but I’ve not been having much luck.

Either I can’t come up with concepts that are worthy of more elaborate stories, or I’m not succeeding at fleshing out these concepts properly. It most likely is the latter. Perhaps taking a concept and nurturing it, growing it, just takes continued effort and patience.

I used to use pen and paper to collect ideas for stories and flesh them out, but the interconnected web of bits of writing consistently became an unusable mess. I’ve been playing around with Scapple which provides a huge improvement over my pen-and-paper process.

I’ve put some work in designing my business cards:

This is still just a draft, but I like it so far. The vertical layout works really well — horizontal is a bit boring these days.

I’ve deliberately not put my role or job title on it. I do not want to define myself by what I do. Besides, I’ve got too many interests anyway: software developer, web site designer, fiction writer, technical writer, and more.

I might play around with the color scheme. I like the teal, and it matches the colors of my web site, though it’s perhaps a little bland, and doesn’t quite communicate the creative vibe that I want to give off.

And nope, you don’t get to know my telephone number. Meet me in person!

I met a fox on the road the other day:

I stood right next to it, maybe a meter away, and it just sat there looking me in the eye, before deciding that it would be better to have some distance between the two of us.