Can you remember the last time you were facing fear – all alone, at night?
Last week after I struggled through rush hour traffic leaving Miami I got onto Route 75 northbound, which is the only road across South Florida.
There is only 1 exit (Snake Road) for a distance of about 70 miles because it goes through the Everglades. Just before the exit I saw a sign that said, “Route 75 northbound closed at mile marker 66.”
“This is not good”, I thought. “There is no other way home.” I stopped at Snake Road, which was before the blockade, and asked the cashier at the gas station about an alternative route. He explained that I could head north on Snake Road into the Everglades, through an Indian reservation and eventually would get to a town which was somewhat near where I live.
I overheard a few other customers asking the same question about how to avoid the wall of traffic. I turned to one of the men and said, “I’ll make a deal with you. I’ll follow you.” We headed north into the dusk and then deep dark night. There were no lights for 30 miles on this 2-lane road through the Everglades.
I confess that the Everglades scare me. My younger son and I took an air boat ride through the Everglades where I got to see the snakes and alligators and other types of nasty wildlife that live there.
When you drive Route 75 you see the high fences that are designed to keep the wildlife off the road.
There were no such high fences on Snake Road.
Our 3 cars passed through a little town at the reservation and immediately went back out into the dark night. I was content to follow the taillights of my gas station friends, until my GPS insisted I turn left. They went straight ahead.
Off on my own in the dark, I went through areas with signs that said, “Watch out for wildlife crossing”. Not sure I wanted to know what kind of wildlife, I determined I was not going to get out the car for any reason.
An abundant supply of bugs splatted on my windshield. I made the mistake of activating the washer fluid and wipers, which just smeared bugs over my windshield right at eye level.
Now I was driving an unfamiliar dark road without being able to see well.
After another 30 miles of driving, I finally saw a string of lights as I got back into civilization. A while later I drove into a rainstorm, which washed my windshield clear and I could see again.
I was never so happy to get into my driveway.
What did I learn from this experience, other than to not try to clean my windshield?
- 1. I was able to face my fear of the Everglades. I could have sat on the highway for who knows how long waiting for the traffic to clear.
I chose to take the risk of driving off into the dark.
2. The first part of my trip, until my friends left me, was easy. I felt a sense of companionship. We were in this adventure together. Although it was a little frightening to be in such a desolate area, I knew they were there too, right ahead of me.
3. It got harder when I was alone. Even though I was on the same kind of road, there was no traffic and little to guide me other than my GPS. And it got worse when I had to peer through my windshield at solid bands of dead bugs.
The experience made me think of the fears people have about writing a book. Facing your fears is the first step to becoming an author. People tell me they are fearful of the time commitment, of writing something no one will want to read, and of not knowing how to go about writing a book.
And yet, the rewards of being a published author are so high – more opportunities, more ways to share what you know with people who need to read what you’ve written.
Having a community of people to help you get through a challenging experience makes all the difference. When I planned my Book Authoring Mastery course, I knew that having a way to connect with other authors going through the process of writing would make it so much easier.
You’ll have others to people to talk to, to support and encourage you.
That makes a huge difference. The Facebook private support group, the buddy working with you, as well as my personal help, will strengthen your resolve and lead to your success.
If you’re like the 81% of Americans who want to write a book, take this opportunity to get the book out of your head and into your hands. Join me in Book Authoring Mastery, a live online course starting March 13, 2019. Become a published author – with my help and that of our community. Don’t try to navigate in the dark – alone.