Do one thing every day that scares you.
I heard this bit of advice years ago, and while I wouldn’t say I do something scary every day, I do try to push myself out of my comfort zone when I have an opportunity.
Yesterday, I did something that for me was scary.
I updated my computer system.
I know that sounds pathetic, but I’d put off any updates for years, because I had a host of expensive software that would be rendered useless if I upgraded. The software worked well for me—why would I upgrade and have to spend thousands of dollars to replace it?
The reason why came to a head as I tried to publish Fatewalker last week. My software was no longer supported by the upload algorithms at Amazon, which meant my e-book wasn’t uploading properly. It was the last straw in an increasingly frustrating game of eking out my old software for as long as possible.
So I spent some time over the last week searching out alternatives to my expensive old software and emotionally preparing myself for the inevitable frustration of a new operating system and new software, which may or may not be able to read files created by the old software.
Yesterday morning I made two complete backups of my computer.
Then I clicked on the dreaded button to install the latest operating system.
My computer flashed up warning after warning, asking me if I was sure I wanted to do this.
Yes, I said. I’m ready.
The screen went black.
A progress bar told me it would be about four million years until it was finished.
I spent my afternoon trying not to glance at the still-black screen, writing a short story in a notebook, enjoying the beauty of analog writing.
I brainstormed titles for my current work in progress, revelling in the scratch of pencil on paper while ignoring the whine of my computer’s cooling fan.
I took a long break with a cup of tea.
Finally, light returned to my screen. I was relieved to see the update had been successful. None of my software worked, but all my files were there.
I pulled out the credit card and bought new software. I purged the old, useless software from my applications folder. On a whim, I downloaded some free software that looked useful (software I couldn’t have run before).
The process was almost fun, in a nail-biting sort of way.
There will be a learning curve, of course (and no doubt some swearing involved). I have lots of new systems to master. But I uploaded a fully functional version of Fatewalker today to replace the cobbled-together one I uploaded last week—not a single warning or error message to be seen. And I played around with some new software, just to see how it worked, and was pleasantly surprised at how intuitive it was. Then I got down to work, and added over 3000 words to my work in progress.
It was a good day. Scary thing conquered.
What scary thing have you done recently?