Fear Not What Toils Within You
by Carlo Dall’Olmo – President and Board Member of PSA


I have a confession to make, I hope you don’t mind me sharing for a moment. I promise it won’t take long for I know how precious your time is. When I began writing this article, I went back and forth with how to start. It seemed somewhat cheap to open with such a large statement – a confession, a dark secret, some dirty laundry if you will, is usually a cheap ploy designed to draw the reader in, only to disappoint as the article progresses. Trust me, though, this is not that.

Courage To Write

This confession may not be so earth-shattering to some but to me it’s quite heavy. It’s more like a begrudging admission of sorts. You see, I am afraid. I am afraid to write what scares me. You may say, ‘Well duh – who likes to deal with things that scare them?’ Well as a writer, it is our job to write what scares us, to go below the surface and mix it up with those things that make us uncomfortable. All great writers do this to some degree or other: Hemingway, Steinbeck, Fitzgerald…daring, courageous writers who weren’t afraid to explore their shortcomings and put it on the page for all to read. That is not me, unfortunately. As a writer, I have failed in that regard. I have been afraid to peek behind the curtain. Maybe I am afraid of what I might find. Maybe I’m afraid of what I won’t find. Maybe my struggles aren’t worthy of the page or effort to place them on the page. What would one think if they read the real me? How could I bare to look you in the eye after reading my words?

So, I ponder the unthinkable – maybe I don’t write meaningfully. Maybe all I do is surface material – cute, non-threatening work designed to pass the time in-between stops on a bus route. Material that helps keep the mind occupied but definitely not nourished. There are writers who do that but dare I say – it isn’t me either. I cannot sit back and be scared of what might be. I must be strong and bold – take the steps all great writers at one point took and commit to my truth. It will be a work in progress but in the end a work, no matter how rough, worthy of respect because it came from a place of honesty.

Be Bold Against Fear

The dilemma I face as writer is real. In a world so quick to judge, how could I risk the slings and arrows that might come my way? Should I dare to explore my fears least I be exposed bare for all to see? I must take the risk. I have no choice. But how do I begin? The journey will not be easy – it never is. The comforts of familiarity are far more dangerous than the unknowns that await. This will be my challenge. I ask my friends to join me, hold me accountable. Do not let me slip into comfort. Help me rise above mediocrity – keep me honest with myself so you can be proud of the writer I can become. If you can relate to this article, I would love to hear from you. Drop me a line in the comments below and tell me your story. Let’s make this an encouraging community.

About Carlo Dall’Olmo
Carlo Dall’Olmo is a screenwriter and the founder/organizer for Phoenix Screenwriters Association (PSA). When not writing or running PSA you can find him on the sidelines cheering on his 14 year soccer obsessed son.


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