My daughter recently completed her first year of soccer. Her team was Awesome (yes, with a capital A). I mean, these girls were incredible players. Incredible. Many had been on a "competitive" team before but it was no longer "fun" so they switched to a" recreational" team. But these girls....truly I don't have the words for them. Wait, maybe I do. Velociraptor comes to mind. (Remember that scene in Jurassic Park where the raptors are using their superior psychic, mind-reading abilities to hunt like a pack? Well, that is what is was like to watch this team play.)
They were deadly to opponents. A girl would kick the ball and another girl would be there and BAM! GOAL! These girls scored off of corner kicks and headers and backward bicycle kicks. They were made of win.
The coach (who I will call St. Coach because he was the most chilled-out, gentle coach in the WORLD, would often say to the girls in hushed tones so as not to be overheard, but I have super-sonic hearing) "Ladies, don't score this half. Just play Keep Away."
They had an undefeated season.
Then they went into a post-season tournament.
They were so used to being Awesome, and so afraid NOT to be Awesome anymore, that they started playing scared.
You can't play scared if you are going to win.
They were playing it far too safe.
You can't play it safe if you are going to win.
Luckily, St. Coach said something to the girls (that even my superior hearing could not make out) and things turned around for them. Four games later, they were tournament champions, still undefeated.
But the fear of not living up to your previous success is a very real one. I think it hits writers very hard. "What if what I am writing today is not as good as what I wrote yesterday?" or "This story will never be as good as my last one."
We can't let being awesome do this to our creativity. For the power of creativity lies in the creation not the product.
Do not fear the Awesome. But don't let it mess you up, either.