“What do you fear, lady?” [Aragorn] asked. “A cage,” [Éowyn] said. “To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.” -J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return Of The King
“When deciding whether to do something, if you feel anything less than ‘Wow! That would be amazing! Absolutely! Hell yeah!’ — then say “No.” -Derek Sivers
Joseph Campbell said “the cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” Does that mean that every time a potential project causes us to feel afraid, we should ignore it and plunge headfirst into the darkness?
Well, besides risking physical harm, we should also ask ourselves if the project is going to be fun. Yes, FUN! That’s such an important and often overlooked aspect in today’s hyper-productive world.
If you’re gonna risk something in the service of making art, it better be fun. When you think about the process, the learning, the growth, let alone the outcome, it should bring joy to your heart.
It’s okay to be afraid. To feel like “Uh…I don’t know if I can do this.” But if there isn’t also a part of you that feels like “It’d sure be fun to try”, then pass. This isn’t the one for you.
And trust that the right project is on the way.