Sunday, September 4, 2011

Explore Or Pusillanimous?

How is it possible to be both an explorer and scared of your shadow at the same time?

Watching my cats (Gum Drop and Little One) yesterday, this thought came to me. For the most part, cats are curious creatures by nature. Everyone knows the saying, ‘curiosity killed the cat.’ They like to explore, especially boxes. They examine everything very carefully, smelling, touching.

But in the same moment, they will jump a foot in the air if something moves unexpectedly. Sometimes the least little noise or movement will cause them to jump, crouch down, or run away and hide. This is where the saying, ‘scaredy cat’ comes into play.

Are we like that in our own lives without realizing it? Are we explorers who take that first step only to stop afraid of what will happen with the next movement?

For the writer this can be especially true. Writers face many difficult questions and decisions when preparing their writing. Then there are long, tedious changes to their work before they are ever ready to submit their manuscript for publication.

For many of us, we are the explorer who has our feet firmly planted in concrete. We love the freedom reading gives us. We can travel the world and outer space, meet realistic and mythical friends, and learn about various occupations all from the comfort of our favorite chair. While we may have thoughts for plots, we never go any further with the ideas. We tend to lack the courage or resolve (pusillanimous) to try our hand at creating. We wait for others and know soon there will be another great adventure written for us to tackle. We are the explorers of books, the written word of others.

I appreciate and am in awe of those who take the next step, then another, and another until finally a book is published. They are truly adventurers even if they do feel a bit scared in the beginning.

Where do you stand? Are you an explorer without fear? Are you a bit timid at first, but push ahead anyway determined to reach your goal? Or do you prefer for others to blaze the trail while you provide support?

*Side Note: Thought it a bit odd, but I could find no antonym for explorer or adventurer.


  1. Hi Mason .. I had a brief look and came up with treasurer for explorer - which could make sense.

    Life doesn't wait for man to decide; we need to add the 'do' ...

    I definitely need to take the lead with my own projects as they're mine and I'm the only one that fully understands - therefore they need to be completed and offered up. That leaves the slate clean for me to pursue onwards.

    To answer your question .. the explorer without fear, just held in abeyance with my mother and her condition, though as she gets weaker I can move forward.

    Enjoy your Labour Day weekend days .. cheers for now - Hilary

  2. I am mostly fearless with only a couple of fears to trip me. If we choose to be fearful then I think it makes us weaker. Who needs to be weak?


  3. I tend to be an explorer (with a healthy amount of fear mixed in!)

  4. Mason - How interesting that most of us are a mix of curiosity/eagerness to explore and fear of the unknown. I know that I am. And you're right; it is a little scary to send a manuscript out and to see what people think of what one's written. At the same time, though, it's exhilarating....

  5. I agree with Margot...scary, but exhilarating.

    Interesting post, Mason. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

  6. I think I just didn't enough enough to be scared in the beginning, but I'm more nervous about beginning a third book than I was the first one.

  7. LOL. That's me in a nutshell. I'm afraid of everything and for that reason I take my risks. What have I got to lose? :)

    Great analogy with your kitties. I hope they're both doing well.

  8. Love the pictures that go along with your post. I tend to look at a goal or problem and break it down into manageable pieces so it isn't so scary. For me, I don't think I would have had the courage to publish my books if it hadn't been for the wonderful critique group I belong to. It's like having ten editors in one room together.

  9. Hi all, thanks for stopping by. I think each and every one of you are explorers in my book. You meet the challenges and keep going. Have a wonderful Labor Day.

    Maria, thanks for asking about the cats. They're both doing okay. Gum Drop's cancer has returned and we're dealing with that, but she's managing right now.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.