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Thursday, January 5, 2017

FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY by Michelle Somers

Patrick Van Eybergen
The Royal National Park, NSW
What a fabulous way to start 2017 – as a new, fully-fledged Genre-ista!
Thank you everyone – Genre-istas and readers – for making me feel so welcome. I look forward to interacting and getting to know you all over the coming months.
Well, we’re already five days into 2017 and from what I’ve seen so far, the coming year holds a wealth of promise – opportunities galore just waiting to be snapped up.
So many possibilities...


So, saying that, where should I start with my debut appearance in Romancing the Genres?
When I sat down to compose this, my first blog as a very new, very green, Genre-ista, I stared at the blank flickering screen wondering what I could possibly write that would be of interest. Christmas is over, the New Year has just begun…

Then it hit.
Would there ever be a better time to talk of new beginnings, of fresh starts? Of setting goals and aspiring dreams?
Great, but that it’s been done to death. And what could I say that you haven’t heard before?
So, I scratched that and moved on. Considered telling you more about myself, about my writing, about why I write the stories I write. Then I scratched that, too.
I do want to share all of this with you, and more. But this moment, this first week of January 2017 – at the head of a year when my career is about to take all kinds of turns I only dreamed but never imagined it would take – I want to touch on something very close to my heart.
In the words of Susan Jeffers…
Feel the fear and do it anyway.
This is the lynchpin of my entire journey to authordom  – from the moment I decided to write a book, to the moment I put myself out there and agreed to become a part of this wonderful group of blogging authors. So what better idea for my first Romancing the Genres blog, than to share my story in the hopes of inspiring others out there to do the same. To ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’.

I’m an inveterate introvert.
One of those people who attends parties only to lurk in the shadows, hoping someone else will make the first move, that they’ll approach and say ‘hi’ and start conversation, rather than me having to step outside my comfort zone and into the Formula 1 lane of extrovertism.
Of course, after they do, I spend the rest of the evening trying not to say something embarrassing or silly. Then do it anyway.
It’s that old idiom of what we focus on coming to fruition, whether the good, the bad or the ugly. And isn’t it so much easier to focus on the negative?
So, writing stories, stepping out of the shadows into the public domain, was a big step for me. Huge, even. And, of course, being an author these days isn’t just about writing books. It’s about being a personality that readers can connect with. That means connecting back. Posting on facebook. Tweeting on Twitter. Snapping on Instagram. Skipping through the tulips of social media, leaving your mark of footprints along the way.
Well, you get my drift. All actions that are unnatural to an introvert like me.
Yet, step by baby step, six years ago I slipped out of my shell. I put myself out there, and in the process I made contacts, colleagues, friends. And slowly, those baby steps grew, until I found myself attending conferences, approaching people before they approached me, and even – yikes! – pitching my book to editors and agents.
Every one of those steps made my pulse race and my palm sweat. I took deep breaths, told myself that I could do it. I can’t honestly say I believed it, but I said the words, felt the fear and did it anyway. And after each of those steps, guess what. My pulse still raced, my palms still sweated, but something inside me lifted. As if whatever bindings had tied me to old habits were suddenly loosened. I felt light. Free.
A-mazing.  
And after a while, not only did I say the words, but I began to believe them.
I can do it…

Since those moments, I’ve pitched and published a book. Written and self-published a short story. Started a newsletter. Given television, radio and newspaper interviews. And each of those times, when my heart pounded and the sweat ran riot, I felt the fear and did it anyway. Because each of those steps brought me one step closer to my goal and a dream I’ve had for as long as I’ve been able to read and write – the dream of becoming a published author and connecting with and inspiring readers.
So, what if any message would I like you to take away from this meander down memory lane?
Don’t let your fears become the sum of your actions.
Consider what you’d like to do with your life. Dig deep, to the person beneath the armor. Rediscover those childhood dreams you nurtured before your adult self took them to task and buried them deep beneath a wall of insecurities and uncertainties.
If there’s something you desire, some deep-seated want or need that you’ve long ignored – because you never thought you could do it if it ever came about – don’t let those fears stop you from reaching out now and grasping them in the palm of your hand.
Picture that dream in your head, tell yourself you can do it, that you are amazing and able and deserving, and that anything is possible if you believe. Then feel the fear and do it anyway.
Live your dream.
Your life can be amazing. A wonder filled with so many incredible possibilities, if only you take the steps and make all that wonderfulness happen. 
Don’t doubt yourself, or tell yourself you’re not ready, that the time’s not right.
It will never be right, until you make it so.
Feel the fear and do it anyway.
And see the fruits of your endeavors prosper.

So, what steps will you take to make 2017 a stand-out year? What will you do that you’ve never done? What will you try that you’ve always wanted to try? Where will you go that you’ve always wanted to go?
Do something different. Brave. Spectacular.
Step out of your comfort zone, feel the fear and do it anyway.
Who knows what heights you’ll achieve?
Why not start right now? Comment below and tell me what you’ve always wanted to do or be or attain. I’d love to be part of your journey. To see your beginning then hear about how went.
Or to hear about your accomplishments – those times you’ve ‘felt the fear and done it anyway’. Why not share your stories to inspire others to do the same?
Start 2017 in the way you mean to continue. Step outside the boundaries of your fears and do something fabulous.
Feel the fear and do it anyway…

If you’d like to find out more about the introvert behind the writer, follow me on facebook, twitter or instagram, or sign up to my newsletter.
Michelle Somers is a bookworm from way back. An ex-Kiwi who now calls Australia home, she's a professional killer and matchmaker, a storyteller and a romantic. Words are her power and her passion. Her heroes and heroines always get their happy ever after, but she'll put them through one hell of a journey to get there.
Michelle lives in Melbourne, Australia, with her real life hero and three little heroes in the making.
Her debut novel, Lethal in Love won the Romance Writers of Australia's 2016 Romantic Book of the Year (RuBY) and the 2013 Valerie Parv Award.

If you’ve not yet read Lethal in Love, here’s what you’ve been missing:
Homicide detective Jayda Thomasz never lets her emotions get in the way of a case. So when a serial killer re-emerges after 25 years, the last thing she expects is to catch herself fantasising over the hot, smooth-talking stranger who crosses the path of her investigation.
Reporter Seth Friedin is chasing the story that’ll make his career. When he enters the world of swinging for research, he never imagines he’ll be distracted by a hard-talking female detective whose kiss plagues his mind long after she’s gone.
Past experience has shown Jayda that reporters are ruthless and unscrupulous. But when the murders get personal and danger closes in, will she make a deal with the devil to catch the killer? How far will she and Seth have to go? And do you ever really know who you can trust?



Want a teaser? Take a look...



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10 comments:

Lauren James said...

Welcome to Romancing the Genres! I loved this blog post. Your passion for writing (and life in general) is inspiring and you always encourage me to face my fears and believe in myself. This advice can be applied to so many facets of our lives.

The biggest fear I've ever faced was going on live television. I was 22 at the time and didn't even like my photo being taken. A friend asked me to present a 5 minute live segment on community television once a week for 3 months. I thought I'd throw up or pass out before my first show, but I pushed myself to do it and even enjoyed it by the end.

Jess said...

Great post Michelle! I love that quote, and think it is so relevant for those among us who are aspiring authors, although from what I hear, we continue to need it along the journey! My big thing for the year is to finish my book and face the fear of putting it out there for others to see. Wish me luck!

Judith Ashley said...

Again, Welcome aboard, Michelle. I'm going to be taking a on-line class on using Canva to create simple book covers. I've several short stories I'd like to publish and they all need covers. I do not see myself as a visually creative person so I'm already taking deep breaths and doing positive self-talk and reminding myself that I do have experience in creating advertising copy - of course that was in the 1950's when I was in high school!

Miranda Morgan said...

You have tackled feat like a master! Thanks for dragging me onto the extrovert's racetrack every no and then!

Michelle Somers said...

Thanks for the lovely welcome Lauren!

And thank you for sharing a moment you faced your fear and did it anyway. Fabulous that you not only went on Community TV, but that you also began enjoying the experience the more you did it.
That's a great lesson for us all 😊
Michelle xx

Michelle Somers said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed the post, Jess.
Good on you for being willing to push the boundaries and put yourself and your book out there. I'd love to hear how you go.
Best of luck!!
Michelle xx

Michelle Somers said...

Hi Judith
Thanks for all your help and for making me feel so welcome as part of Romancing the Genres.
Good on you for having a goal and going out to get the skills to achieve it. It takes a lot of coursge to put ourselves out there, and you're doing it. Make sure you take the time to pat yourself on the back and acknowlege your efforts.
All the best with your cover designing endeavors and your short stories 😊
Michelle xx

Michelle Somers said...

Lol, thanks Mandy. After all, what are friends for?
Glad to have you as company along my journey. I'm loving watching yours unfold.
Michelle xx

Barb said...

Feel the fear and do it anyway is how I have survived especially the last year when I took the risk and self-published a romance. I love the fact that Susan Jeffers can bring so many people together and give them the confidence to live the quote so many years down the track.
Loved your post and will enjoy following it.

Rita H. Azar said...

Great post Michelle! I have a book that basically says that fear is part of us. We basically can't get rid of it, we just have to learn to tame it and learn to live with it. A friend gave me this book when I traveled permanently to Australia. I still refer to it often.