Monday, October 31, 2011

Hello fear, my old friend

Happy Halloween! A number of bloggers have been posting about what they most fear. I've got plenty of fears to share. But in the midst of drafting Project Fun for Faux Nano, I've been thinking about the fear to write, which manages to catch me out almost every morning, silencing my words, plaguing me with doubt and insecurity. Recently, in an attempt to exorcise my demons of fear, I started singing (to the tune of the first line of Simon & Garfunkel's Sound of Silence), "Hello fear, my old friend." Because of course naming your fear is half the battle. In the spirit of Halloween, I decided to finish rewriting the lyrics to share them with you. Apologies to S&G for bastardizing their words and scansion. But at least now I have a whole song with which to face down my fear.

Hello fear, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a story softly creeping
Left its premise while I was sleeping
And the story that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

After restless dreams I tried to write
In the early morning light
Scribbling with pen on paper
I closed my eyes to all my failure
When my eyes were stabbed by Word’s blinking cursor
It split my will
And rallied the sound of silence

In the computer’s white light I saw
Ten thousand emails maybe more
Agents rejecting because there is no market
Editors rejecting because there is no money
Writers dreaming stories that readers never share
I no longer dare
Disturb the sound of silence

“Fool,” said I, “You already know,”
Fear like a cancer grows
I should write my words that I might capture them
Tell my stories that I might reach them
But my words like quiet snowfall melt
And exit my mind in silence

Writers like me bowed and prayed
To the fancy blogs we made
While the New York Times flashed out its warning
Via Facebook and Twittering,
The headline cried, “The book industry is already cold and dead.”
Where has my courage gone?
To whisper in the sound of silence.


  1. wow! Very cool. This could go viral :-).

  2. Elisabeth: Aw, thanks. But remember, you read it here first! ;)

  3. Thank you for reminding of this great oxymoron- the melodic beautiful sound (no silence) of this duo. How evocative it is.
    And yes to conquering fear.

  4. CR: Aw, thanks!

    Mirka: Yes, I've always loved S&G since I was a kid! Such beautiful, musical tunes. Makes me think I should rewrite some others! ;)

  5. oh, Anne, this is terrific. I'm a huge S&G fan, so I went in wanting to love it. And I did. It's awesome that you not only named your fear, but you outwitted it by writing this very creative thing, despite the fear to write. Yay, for conquering fears! Even if they have to be re-conquered every morning ;)

  6. I love The Sound of Silence, and I love this writerly rendition of it. So creative. I also believe it should go viral.

  7. Ruth: Aw, I'm blushing! Thanks so much for your kind words. I do feel a bit braver now! We'll have to work at it again tomorrow, though! ;)

    Medeia: Thanks so much. And tell all your friends! ;) ! I'm also glad to discover I'm not the only one with an S&G fixation.


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