"The fear of becoming a 'has-been' keeps some people from becoming anything." Eric Hoffer
"Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom." Marilyn Ferguson
Some of you may roll your eyes at those quotes, but fear is a real emotion for some writers. As writers, we have all these stories in our head, and sometimes those stories don’t make it on the page because of fear.
Does this sound familiar? Let’s look at a few fears that might be holding you back.
Fear of Inadequacy
Even I have a hard time with this one! Me? Moi? Yes! This , most-talkative, loves to pay it forward writer has this fear. I’m always questioning myself about THIS blog or my books. Even the blogs that get the most hits or the books that have sold out at book signings or bestsellers. A lot of “who wants to read this?” Or “what makes me an expert?”
Well…this amazes me because you are here, reading my blog and I have a lot of great readers who encourage me to write more. It only takes one comment to make me feel better and a little less fear.
You are a writer! You have something to say, whether it’s blogging or writing that great book. Call me! I’ll tell you how much you matter.
Fear You’re Too Old
Yeah, yeah. . .I have this one too. So maybe I’m not soooo old (ummm forties, but my kids think I’m ancient!), but I do wish I would’ve figured out my love for writing a little earlier in life.
Look at it this way, we get wiser with age. This will add depth to your writing and patience! Didn’t you know that patience really is a virtue in this business.
Fear of Too Much Research
Okay. This is very much a concern because details are so important in a novel. Trust me, if you get a color wrong on a 1948 Chevy truck because they didn’t make that color back then, those Chevy experts will come at you in troves!
LEARN to love to do the research. Make it fun. If you need that 1948 Chevy in your novel, you can take a day to visit a Chevy dealership or if you are near Illinois you can visit the Chevy Museum.
This is your novel. You should love learning about your characters and their environment. Step back and make it fun. My group of characters in Carpe Bead ‘em, had a spa weekend. Guess where I went for the weekend with a group of my girl friends? Yep! The spa, and had a Moor mud bath. . .ah. . . .
Fear of Revealing Too Much
There seems to be a lot of this question in the online social media age we write in. Do we reveal too much of ourselves on line or even in our novels?
A lot of readers ask me if I’m anything like the protagonists in my novels. Most the time there seems to be a hint, but for the most part my protag is pretty much her own. But it doesn’t mean that we aren’t baring our souls in each and every word we write. If we are digging that deep, which I know you are, you are going to really touch your readers!
Fear of Having Only One Book in You
This happens to me with each book, not just one! Somehow during the writing process or when I’m wrapping up edits, another book or story plots literally moves into my head, kicking out the previous characters.
You are a writer. You have several books in you and you need to realize it! Some of your stories might take longer to come out or for you to write them, but they are there just waiting to be written.
Fear of Rejection
Most of us fear being rejected. This fear alone can make you so scared that you won’t ever finish that novel. Rejection happens.
It’s such a subjective word. But you have to realize everyone is different. There are no two people alike. AND you can’t please everyone. If you believe in your work, your words, that is all that matters. Go into any bookstore or online, find the author’s website or read their story. At some point in their career they were rejected. Every. Single. One. But they kept going. They found someone who really liked their work. They never gave up and neither are you!
Remember that the difference between a winner and a loser. . .a winner NEVER gives up.
Fear of Success
What? Fear of success? I bet you are rolling your eyes again. . .yes! This is a real fear.
Success means that you are read, people love you, you have to produce more. These are enough to stop you in your tracks and stump your career before it begins.
You only have to take your career one step at a time. When you get to JK Rowling status, you can worry about success then.
How do you get over these fears?
Face them! Head on!
Writer’s Digest has a great article on TenWays to Harness Fear And Fuel Your Writing.
Kristen Lamb has a great blog on the fear of blogging, Here There Be Blog Trolls–How to Spot Them & What To Do where she discusses those nasty thoughts she calls TROLLS, and gives some great suggestions how to overcome those trolls.
Do you have any of these fears? How do you overcome them? We all want to know.