Fear

by LimebirdRaven

choking        stagnating        blinding        sneaking

stagnating        blinding        sneaking          choking

blinding!    sneaking!    choking!    stagnating!

blindingstangnatingsneakingchoking!

Fear sneaks up on you and kills creativity.  Be it insecurity or fear of failure or fear of rejection, or whatever it is, it kills.  How do you counter it? How do you keep writing in the face of fear?

-Remember first that you are writing for nobody but yourself!  Get it written and spill out the ideas as they come.  Clean it up later for someone else, but first, get it written!

-Set a time to write every day, same time, no matter what.

-BICHAK!!  Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard!!  Keep it going, no matter how bad it may be. You can always fix it later.

-Stop Talking!!  Don’t talk about writing, simply DO it!  The more you write, the better you become.

Have I ever fallen into these traps? Every single one.  I fight daily to believe my writing is worth doing, for many reason, not the least of which is ‘I’m too old to start!’  My family always wanted me to be in computers, so nothing else I did (singing, dancing, anything I WANTED to do) was good enough.  I never got to show them my writing.  My dad’s been gone for years and mom’s mind and body are both half gone.  I tried to show my mom not too long ago, but she never even looked at it.  Yes, there are many reasons for my fears.

Someone told me this week that I had to make myself BELIEVE that people NEED to hear what I have to say.  That I have to give it straight and hit them over the head with my words.

He said more, but you get the gist.

What do you fear and what methods do you use to overcome fear?

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31 Comments to “Fear”

  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. No nonsense. Just write. Yes please! xxx

  2. Hi Raven,

    Well said. I recently posted on my blog about this VERY thing. I had to make myself go to NYC for a writer’s conference because I really, really wanted to sit in on a workshop by Donald Maass. But it meant taking a bus into Boston, a train from South Station into NYC, hailing my own taxi to the hotel–all of these things I had never done before and scared the living hell out of me.

    I had many chances to change my mind, turn and run. I had plenty of excuses at the ready to give up and try again another time.

    But I have spent my entire life being afraid of pursuing my dream of writing. And I was at a point in my life where I can’t justify spending all my time “honing” my novel and never trying to get it published. Time and opportunity just aren’t there without consequence like they were when I was younger, when I thought I had forever to accomplish my goals.

    When I made myself go to NYC I showed myself that I can do anything if I want it bad enough. From that point on, my level of fear has significantly decreased. Sure, I still get nervous when I share my writing or query agents or do anything risky. But I push through all of that because I know I can do it. I’ve seen myself in action, and so I have no reason to not go for it anymore.

    I’m proud of you for persevering and writing despite your fear. I think it’s when we’re most afraid that you know you’re supposed to do it. Keep writing, Raven!

    • Oh wow! That’s a terrific story, Kate. I’m so glad you decided to pursue it and look how far you’ve come! Did you ever hear anything more from the agent? I know they will love your work!

  3. Hi – This is a really good post – very honest.

    In my humble opinion anyone who makes the decision to write on a regular basis and tackle issues with their own style and content is a writer by default. The ‘getting the publishing deal’ bit is just the icing on the cake, and I don’t imagine that commercial success will miraculously cure your / our self-doubt. If anything it may be increased due to expectations. Anyway, I’ve just read your words and I thought they were good, so congratulations. Let me know where I can find some more of your prose…

  4. I know I’m not alone when I say that writing has, at least temporarily, blown my fears away. My entire life, I lived in fear, until now. And I assume I could be back there again within a minute. But now I have a baseline of posts written when I felt no fear — to these I can refer if fear threatens to become a part of my writing. I am very obviously and truly blessed — and if this lasts not even one more minute, I have been very lucky, and perhaps developed some tools to climb out of fear as my primary operating system, when it arises.

    • That is truly awesome! I have much less fear once I actually start, but there is still some there. Per that last bit of advice my friend (Edward Lorn) gave me, I’m changing my attitude. I KNOW someone wants to read what I have to say, and someone may even NEED what I have to say, so I’m going to write boldly write from my heart from now on.

      Congratulations on your life change and keep up the great work!

  5. I think I’ve got the same writing fears as most (does this really suck and no one is willing to tell me? if I ever publish, will there be blogs filled with detailed descriptions of everything wrong with my book? etc). I deal with them by ignoring them. If I’m busy writing, I don’t have time for them.

    Realistically, this doesn’t get rid of them, but it doesn’t let them run rampant over my feelings either.

    • I hate to mention this again, but apparently it’s common for an agent to hear that about 3/4 of the way through a book. In particular, I refer to a story regarding this situation with Neil Gaiman. It seems he does that with every single book, along w/ many of his agent’s other clients. He was surprised to realize that when his agent pointed it out, but it’s a very inspiring story. It definitely gives lots of hope.

      Meanwhile, that’s a great way to deal with your fears and the naughty voices in your head (hehe). Don’t fear rejection. Kevin J Anderson said he had 80 rejections by age 16 and in ‘Write Good or Die’ he says:

      “I have a trophy in my office proclaiming me to be “The Writer with No Future” because I could produce more rejection slips by weight than any other writer at an entire conference. My files now bulge with more than 800 rejections. On the other hand, I also have 94 books published, 41 of which have been national or international bestsellers, and my work has been translated into 30 languages. I’ve written over 10 million words, so far.”

      How incredibly awesome! All I can say is I have some catching up to do! I don’t fear rejection from agents/publishers. I expect it. BUT none of that matters if my readers don’t like what I write. That’s what I fear. Hopefully not for much longer!! :) Good luck, Shannon, and thanks for the comment!

  6. Totally agree with the writing for yourself first. If you don’t like/enjoy it, who will?

  7. Hi Raven,
    I had fear all my life. However I took the first step of conquering it when I opened my own publishing company and self-published my own book with my husband pushing me all the way. I am so happy he did that as I now have five books published (a series) and am doing author visits. This has gone a long way to overcoming my anxiety over all that stuff you mentioned about writing. But every time I send a book to the printer, I still feel those fears…will it be good enough, will people like it…but you just have to go on and do it…fears and all.

    • Great story! I love that you had someone to help the whole way. That’s just amazing! I have someone encouraging me, but he likes distracting me more than he likes so little time with me LOL. I’m very lucky, though, to have such a person in my life, as you are lucky too. Five books? Congratulations!!! I hope to have time to read them someday soon.

  8. Very, very well said! And one of the best things anyone ever told me is that you’re never too old to do makes you happy. Just a number, right?

    Oh, and I totally hear you on the parents and writing thing. I just had to, well, pretty literally yell at my mother to get her to read a short story I wrote recently. No, it wasn’t the first thing of mine I had her read. Yes, she liked the last one. And yes, I had to fight her last time. In the end, she read this one and loved it very much, despite it being a genre she doesn’t typically read much of. I’m hoping eventually it won’t be such a fight with her because strangely, her liking my writing matters inordinately to me.

    • Thank you, Julie! No, you’re right. Never too old.

      And of COURSE it matters what your mother things. Why wouldn’t it? I’d like to have that option again, but it appears it will never happen. Keep persevering with your mother. It may not be her habit to read much, and surely, when you’re with her, she’d rather spend her time with you. But definitely leave it with her and get her to read it. She should WANT to read it!

      Keep your chin up!

      • Oh, my mother’s a voracious reader. It’s where I got it from. And I think my wanting her to read it comes from the fact that I know she’ll tell me if she doesn’t like it, where I often wonder if my friends and other family are just being nice. My mother doesn’t coddle, at all. So when she loved it, I knew I had done a good job, no question. But she said she was afraid of hurting my “fragile persona” until I pointed out to her that being a writer is end-to-end criticism anyway, and that fragile personas need not apply. I think she and I have the issue hashed out now. :)

      • Oh good. I’m so glad to hear it. That relationship is far too important.

        My mom lives in a box. Her life is in the TV. It has been for far too long. I’ll post a story about that soon on my personal blog…if Writer’s Digest releases it.

  9. Reblogged this on Writing Tips and commented:
    Great Advice from a fellow blogger.
    PLEASE MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE ORIGINAL BLOGGER’S POSTS. They were kind enough to let me share this wonderful article with you.

  10. I think Mark Twain said it best: “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear–not absence of fear.”

    Great post!

    ~Kayleigh

  11. Here, here! Great post and one that I shall refer to. But saying that reminds of the fact that I have a book on the shelf behind me, Stop Memory Loss. Trouble is I forget to read it!

    • ROFL That sounds so much like me!! I have so little memory it’s not even funny. I’d like to say I’m just getting old, but…I’ve always been that… SQUIRREL! Um where was I? Oh yes. I’ve always been that way. If it’s not right in front of me…I forget. Thanks Paul!

  12. For me (and yes often after long periods of NOT writing) I remember the writing coach who told me “Not writing is a poison in your gut. You won’t feel better until you vomit it onto the page.) Messy but effective

  13. I accept the fear. Then I decide that what I am afraid of is worth facing. And I choose to keep writing. Once I remind myself that the fear is something I can run from or stare down, I give myself power over things. Choice is a beautiful thing. Choosing to write every day makes it so much sweeter. Knowing I can stop and give up gives me the courage to keep going. :)

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