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creativity

In the pause: What to do with fear

It was 8:30pm last night and all of a sudden I was in my living room crying. I’ve been pouring myself in my book this week and I have a cold, but that’s not it. As I close this current chapter of my life and begin a new one, there’s a certain level of fear mixed in with my excitement. For a moment, that fear got the upper hand.

I’ve been through loads of changes like this before. I’m moved to new cities, left jobs, left relationships, started companies, closed companies, dealt with the loss of loved ones, and had great fluctuations in my income over the years. And let’s not forget my apartment building fire, the bullet through my lobby a few months ago, and that small matter of my airplane being hit by lightning in mid-flight causing an emergency landing just before the wing fell off on the tarmac. Life’s a real kick in the pants sometimes.

The difference for me right now is that I’m so unwilling to compromise when it comes to how I spend my time. The only thing I seem to have any appetite for now is building a better world. We are facing so many challenges that I want to be a part of solving, and there are brief moments when that becomes overwhelming. Last night was one of those times.

And then J.K. Rowling flew into my inbox, like fairy godmothers often do. Her advice? “Stopping worry about paying the rent. Concentrate on your public speaking phobia.” Doing heartfelt work often requires us to take our fear and put it over there so that we can get back to what we need to do. Cry it out. Dance it out. Yell it out. Write it out. Hell, eat a donut if need be. Do whatever you have to do to exercise the fear. Then, get on with it. The world needs you.

About Christa Avampato

The short of it: Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day. The long of it: My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events. While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, PBS.org, Boston.com, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series. A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist. My company: I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media: • I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference; • I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable; • I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me. Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.

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