This year, I'm going to continue my tradition of having guest posts on a certain topic throughout the year. In 2011, it was second books; in 2012, it was books from our childhood. In 2013, the topic is fear. I picked fear because I thought: we've all felt it; we all develop ways to cope with it. It's a powerful emotion, so there's probably a lot to say about it.
My first guest blogger is Lauren Bjorkman, who's not afraid to have a few chuckles in the face of fear.
people learn that I sailed across the Atlantic Ocean on an old sailboat
just after my 10th birthday, or that I kayaked among icebergs and brown
bears in Glacier Bay, or wrote several young adult novels, or traveled
to Syria and Yemen, they think that I have NO FEAR. Nothing could be
further from the truth. My adventurous life has everything to do with my
parents and my husband.
My recent released YA novel, Miss Fortune Cookie,
addresses the issue of fear. It tells the story of Erin, a secret
advice columnist with a Chinese heart. She speaks Mandarin and lives in
San Francisco Chinatown. She and her crazy smart friends have applied to
Ivy League colleges.
story is NOT about me. I rarely give advice to my friends, never lived
in Chinatown, and didn’t apply to a single Ivy League school. But Erin
and I are alike in one important way. We both let our lack of
self-confidence—aka fear of failure—hold us back. Over time I overcame
many of my fears—public speaking, aggressive dogs, snorkeling, eating
slimy things, mingling at parties. To a degree, anyway. When my
self-confidence grew, I finally dared fulfill my dream of writing
In Miss Fortune Cookie, Erin’s confidence takes a
big leap after she survives an adventure of a lifetime. Actually, she
enjoys some of it. Once she faces her worst fears, she discovers that
they did not have the power she imagined they did. This realization
frees her to take the next brave steps in her life.
overcome every last fear, of course. I’m still terrified of large ocean
waves, for instance. I use another strategy to deal with this. It’s
Lauren Bjorkman has sailed across the Atlantic twice, and has written two YA novels, My Invented Life and Miss Fortune Cookie ("Fate will come looking for you. Don’t bother hiding.")