Annalee Kornelsen
Visual Practitioner, graphic facilitation, illustration, and visual thinking


Thoughts and advice on creativity, art, wellness, and living wholeheartedly from a fiercely intuitive soul.

Annalee Kornelsen is a visual practioner, graphic recorder and artist based in Vancouver BC.

How the Blog Sausage Gets Made: on working sidways to avoid fear

Today, I thought I'd share what my writing process usually looks like. It's always a bit of a struggle (that's why it usually goes up on Tuesday... or Wednesday, instead of Monday like its supposed to).

Meet the Fear Overlord (yes, that is kind of a star-craft reference).


I have to do a lot of truth bending to get around The Fear Overlord. My friend Elvira and I call this "doing things sideways". Often, it feels like the only way to push through the paralyzing fear of doing something intimidating, or making a mistake is to pretend I'm not really doing it at all. This is the same defense mechanism that has inspired statements such as: "I love you, I want to hang out with you a bunch and make out, but I don't want a relationship." or "once I become really good at (insert safe thing) then I'll start (insert thing you really want to do)".

Ultimately, the Fear Overlord, is trying to protect me from potential pain and humiliation. The thing is: It doesn't work. If it successfully prevents me from moving forward, I'll feel pain and humiliation for quitting, plus the added frustration of a creation left uncreated. If I do move forward and have a humiliating and painful experience pretending that I don't care or didn't do it on purpose doesn't actually protect me at all. The truth is still the truth even when we go sideways, or hide it.

Honestly, the main thing is that operating this way, while kind of charming and totally human, is completely exhausting. Everything just feels like such a big deal .

Sometimes, I can be a lot more straight-forward and brave about what I am doing. More and more I am learning to not react to my defense mechanisms. I can't stop them from happening, but I don't have to do anything about them either, given that it isn't likely to improve my experience one way or another.

Hello Fear Overlord. Good morning. Yes, you're right: I'm writing a blog posting. Yes, with the intention that people might read it. Why? well, once in a while somebody lets me know that something I wrote was beneficial to them, and that's worth it. Thanks for your concern.

Annalee KornelsenComment