Motivation is powered by Vocal creators. You support Kathlyn Downs by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

Motivation is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less

Conquering My Fears 2

Winning an Inside Battle

It all started when I was 8-years-old. My school district was holding a writing contest where one person from each school would be chosen to have their story published and to go in front of all the district leaders. I was the student chosen from my school. The story was about a talking dog named Spot. At eight, you can imagine it was not the best piece of writing in the world but it gave me the writing bug and for the next ten years I wrote and wrote and got straight A's on almost every paper and essay I turned in. I was even accepted to a journalism program at the local college and planned to travel the world.

Then, the hormones came raging. I came from a hard family and I come with daddy issues for sure. I had grown up wanting to get away from my family and live a single life. Instead, I made the decision to follow my boyfriend to another school (again those hormones and mental issues). Around this time is when I lost it... I couldn't write. I felt lost and confused. I didn't know if it was even worth pursuing something I loved so much. This started a 17 year writer's block.

Throughout those 17 years, I hid my writing past and love from everyone. My high school friends knew but my confidence was so low that I didn't think anybody would believe that there was talent in me, since I couldn't write and I had gotten rid of everything else I ever wrote. Why tell them? I didn't even tell my now husband. It has been my secret for years. I have mourned my writing. I felt the desire calling me but always told myself I couldn't do it, waste of time.

In 2009, I had moved to Phoenix, Arizona and was going through some of the roughest times I have had. That is another story for another day. I was very angry and spent a lot of time thinking about the hell I had been put through in my childhood and I wrote. You did beat your block! No... I got a few pages in and it hit and I lost all thoughts, all the feelings, and shut my laptop down and forgot about it. One month later, I had to sell my laptop to pay bills. I thought I had deleted everything. I was wrong. The laptop was sold to a friend of a friend at the trade school they were attending. The man who bought it approached my friend a few days later about what he had found on it, my story. He sent an apology through my friend for reading it but he thought it was amazing. This man, who I never met, was insistent that I needed to be writing. He thought that I had a talent for telling stories. Although I felt revived for a bit from this compliment from a stranger, I again pushed myself down believing I was too busy to waste my time. I was positive I would never write my stories again.

Two years ago, on a whim, I started looking into sites that would consider publishing articles from writers with and without college degrees. I would look at them and, again, tell myself that I could not do it. After all these years, any writing skills I had were gone. I kept coming back these sites. A year ago, I set up an account on here. I have all of these amazing stories flowing from my history and revolving around in my head and maybe I would give it a try and get my failure out of the way.

Last month, I got closer than ever before to writing. I drafted and immediately deleted two articles. I would get halfway through and I would hit a wall. I was trying to figure out what to do. Take some online writing classes? Maybe some writing exercises? Those parts are part of my current plan.

Then, I came to the night that finally broke this plague that has been attacking my passion for so long. I attended my first roller derby practice, another dream and fear of mine. I felt like I conquered one of my biggest fears just by going. I walked out of that practice, even without skating, rejuvenated and excited. When I got home that night, I got on the computer and wrote my first two articles in 17 years from title to end. I flowed, I didn't even really know what was happening but the inner wall had been broken.

I was scared to proofread, I was positive I would end up deleting them both if I read them. I took a deep breath and submitted both for writing. I was positive that this was a dead dream still and I would be turned down. I wasn't. Two days after submitting them, I was published. When I got the email telling me the first one was published, I cried and cried. Had one of my dreams actually come true? 

I still have a lot of refreshing and learning to do but I am optimistic that my writing side is back. The ideas are swirling in my head faster than ever, I am even making lists of my ideas. One person, out of the four I told, hasn't been supportive about this. I expected more from this person. I woke up ready to delete this account and give it all up. Then, I decided to give it a try and see if my writing is capable of being my therapy. Answer: it is. I am still here and I plan on continuing my writing. The fire is burning inside of me, this is what I should have been doing all these years. There are many stories inside me, some very strange and entertaining. I will not let my own head or anyone else take this away.

Don't give up your dreams and passions. Responsibilities and adulthood take hold and some dreams are hard to chase... If I can do it, anyone can.

Now Reading
Conquering My Fears 2
Read Next
Thanks Through November