Breaking out of the Box of Fear

Hey guys! Sorry for my recent lack of post-age. These past two weeks have been crazy busy, and honestly I just keep losing track of my days. So sorry! But today I'm back, and I wanted to share a fun little story about something I recently did and (of course) link it to a lesson in writing.

I have been coloring my hair since I was in seventh grade. My natural hair is mousy brown, but over the years it's been brown with blonde highlights, brown with blonde and red highlights, almost blonde, dark brown, red, dark brown and red, blonde and brown ombré, and more. My sister, being a licensed stylist, does my hair for me so she always has new ideas or suggestions for fun things we can try.
I've always loved the idea of putting fun colors in my hair. Namely, purple. I always would see people around with colored highlights, and it just looked so fun!
But, like many people, I felt hindered by fear of judgement. What would everyone say? Would I be taken seriously? Would people automatically assume I'm some kind of rebel? These fears of judgement and negative opinions were enough to push the dream of purple hair away.
Until now.
A few weeks ago, my sister bought a new color line that consisted of these gorgeous blue, green, and purple shades. Seriously, they were so pretty and fun! As soon as I saw them, I was desperate for them to be in my hair. All of them!
And that's what we did. Despite my fears, I did what I've always wanted to do and colored my hair with fun shades. I have mermaid hair now, and I LOVE IT. I know not everyone I meet will, but that's okay. It's my hair, and I love it.
This is the same attitude I'm now trying to practice when it comes to writing!
More often than not, I'm hindered by the opinions of others. Sometimes I won't delete a scene that needs to be cut simply because someone told me they love that scene. I didn't touch my first chapter while I was editing for a very long time because I was told it was great and I shouldn't touch it. And sometimes, I'm afraid to go out of my box or make risky decisions because I'm afraid of what agents, publishers, or future readers might think. In fact, there are A LOT of things I haven't done because of the opinions of others. It's like being stuck in a box of fear. When you're trapped, you can't grow as a writer. And if you can't grow, neither can your writing.
But this box can be broken! All it takes is a change in mindset, some courage, and determination. The next time you find yourself hesitating because of fear, try to find the root of that fear. Are you afraid to delete a scene because your friend will be sad? Are you afraid to attempt a three-person POV because a literary agent might not like it? Are you afraid to change your plot because your current fans might not like the story anymore?
Once you know why you're hesitating, ask yourself if it's really worth it. Who is going to benefit from giving into fear? Usually, the answer is no one.
Your book is YOURS, just like my hair is mine! Though I was afraid of what others would think, I finally took a leap and put some fun colors in my hair, and now I love the results. And to my surprise, so do the people around me!
It can be scary, but the decisions you make for your writing need to be solely your decisions. Your book is yours, so your decisions need to be, too! Don't be afraid to do something crazy or change the entire plot or rename characters or whatever it is you're afraid to do. Staying hindered by fears of judgement will do nothing but keep you trapped in a box! Don't be scared. Break out!
In the end, things might turn out better than you expected. :)

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2