Notes on fear

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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24 Responses

  1. CJ says:

    Solid. Don’t take this the wrong way, but you’re one of the reasons I don’t write as much anymore. You’re also the reason I wrote anything that was even barely interesting on Up For Poker. I wanted people to react to my writing like they react to yours. It happened ever so rarely (and never totally). So, yeah, I’m jealous.

    Now go write that damn book!

  2. I have the feeling I’d read a grocery list if you wrote it.

  3. (That may not have sounded the way I intended it. This was much more than a grocery list and I liked it very much.)

  4. Poker Shrink says:

    Category: Head shrinking.

    They have to be small enough to fit on top of the pike but not so shrunken that they lose their ability to write.

  5. AlCantHang says:

    Nicely done sir. Always moving forward.

  6. The Wife says:

    You always make me so damn emotional.

  7. Da Goddess says:

    Thank you for putting into words what has been in my head and my heart for the past few months. You unleashed a torrent of tears from me tonight and that was a good thing. I needed to get that out as it was building and building to an unreasonable level of terror and pressure within me.

    I’m still scared as hell, but at least I don’t feel quite so alone or strange for feeling that way.

    P.S. I’m with CJ – write the damn book already!

  8. Jim says:

    Great post. I finally climbed to the top of Table Rock, to that great overlook, a year ago at age 66. I’d wanted to do that for 40 years but never had. I’m glad I did, it was quite an experience and I’ve got the photos to prove it. But I think once is enough. I’ll never forget it and I’m proud I did it. Now I just fly by it in a small airplane and look upon it, remembering when I sat there myself.

  9. Kat says:

    As someone who has been living with and hiding from/masking fear for the last decade, I grok this with every fibre of my being.

  10. Bell says:

    Beautifully written!

  11. PokerLawyer says:

    Brad, so I read this last night and pondered it as I was drifting off to sleep. I kept thinking…what was he afraid of? What was it that he was holding in/onto? And I thought about all the things I hold onto that cause me to be afraid. I fell asleep thinking on all that.

    About 3 a.m., I woke myself up laughing. I’d had a dream, you see. A dream in which I was directly faced with one of my fears – running unexpectedly into someone I had lost touch with for one reason or other, but to whom I felt I owed a debt…of gratitude or forgiveness or explanation. I hate being in that situation and there I was, face to face with having to deal with it. (A bigger question I may need to face is: why does that/those scenarios cause me so much fear?).

    In my dream, I had the solution; knew what I needed to do and did it. Doing whatever it was I did didn’t erase the feelings of dread and discomfort, but I was forced to face it and address it in the dream. Viola, resolution.

    The dread I felt was physical, emotional, mental. I actually felt my body tense. Upon waking, I couldn’t remember what the resolution was, what the tools were that I’d taken in the dream that I could use in real life to address what I’d experienced in the dream.

    The thing is – there was absolutely nothing fun or funny about my dream or the resolution that occurred therein. But. The fact that I woke myself up with laughter (wth?) made me see that I can do something. I tried to recall what I’d done in the dream. I know it started with a handshake.

    Anyway…I still don’t remember, but there in the dark thinking about it, I formulated a plan for tackling this fear I’d just been faced with because of my dream.

    I blame you.

    (I also thank you.)

  12. You made me realize that I’ve been doing the same thing for years and just ignoring it. Thanks for touching a nerve that I haven’t felt in a long time.

  13. Brad says:

    For the effort and reflection it took to actually publish this ramble, I can’t express how grateful I am for these comments. They are gratifying beyond words and more comforting than you know. Thanks. –BW

  14. jann sabin says:

    Maybe it’s because I have a yellow lab, but probably just because I love great writing, I’m human, and I’ve been afraid like we all have. I’m so glad I follow you on Twitter, which I do mainly because I’m a poker junkie and follow a small group of players (is it just me, or are poker players one of the more interesting groups of people if one can generalize?). If it weren’t for poker, I wouldn’t have read this tale.

    It made me think of a graduation address given by the CEO of Goggle, a woman, to young women, I think. She said, “Think of what you would do if you weren’t afraid, then do it.”

  15. Astin says:

    Great piece as always sir.

  16. Pauly says:

    Read this post three times already. Gets better every time.

  17. AmyC says:

    My work day is 2 hours old. I’ve been staring at the same empty Word document all morning, knowing I can’t fill it with the right words. Remind me never to read this blog on a writing day.

  18. Shane says:

    This is maybe your best ever.

  19. Jon says:

    Damn you’re good!

  20. Daddy says:

    Brilliant.
    As always.

    Well played, sir.

  21. Mike D says:

    Let me know when you want to have another go at it.

  22. pokerpeaker says:

    Whenever I climb a tough mountaineering route, it’s the moments that I’m not afraid that worry me the most.

  23. BJ Nemeth says:

    Your writing is superb, but it’s your perspective that makes your blog posts compelling. You’re one of the most grounded people I (barely) know, and I’m not sure I can pay a higher compliment than that.

  1. August 29, 2011

    […] Notes on fear […]

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