The Only Thing we Have to Fear is…

24 Apr

People have a lot of crazy fears.

I’m deathly afraid of heights and clowns. I have a friend who is scared of bridges and another who is terrified of spiders. And I’m sure you have your share of phobias.

We often have a lot of fear in our writing lives as well. As either published authors or aspiring writers, we let fear get in our way of succeeding…sometimes we let it get in the way of even trying in the first place.

As writers, what are we afraid of?

We are afraid of putting our thoughts into words, onto paper. We are then afraid of putting our words out there for the world to see. We are afraid of not being as good as some other writer. We are afraid of what other people will think of our writing. We are afraid of being rejected by an editor.

We are afraid of too much!

You should always do your very best at your writing. You should strive to be perfect; you should strive to always be professional; and you should always give it your all-and-all.

But…that doesn’t mean you will be perfect, or that your writing will always turn out the way you want it to.

Writing is an avocation that involves “sticking your neck out there.” You must be brave and courageous, not fearful of your feelings, your misplaced commas, your reaction from other people, or your would-be editors.

Remember what FDR said: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” I believe that is so true in regards to our writing aspirations. We cannot wallow in our fear simply for the sake of being fearful. We must face our fears, challenge our fears, have confidence in our abilities, rise up to the occasion, and do everything we can to succeed despite our insecurities.

As you get ready this day to put some words onto paper (or send a story to an editor, or write a query letter, or simply tell someone “I am a writer”), don’t let fear into the equation.

~~ If fear is a problem for you, consider these questions and exercise…

* What is the biggest fear you have about writing?

* Make a list of ways you can try and conquer this fear.

* Write a few paragraphs about your fear in a creative way (such as: in the form of a poem, prayer, or dialogue between two characters.)

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