Am I going to write about overcoming fear today? No. Others have written about ways to face and overcome fears far more eloquently (and more helpfully) than I'm able to or wish to. I will note that many fears are quite specific:
- I'm afraid people will think I'm a pervert if I write about sex the way I want to.
- I'm afraid people will think I'm an unstable maniac if I write gruesome horror the way I want to.
- I'm afraid the positive comments on my blog are just people being polite.
- I'm afraid my style of writing was only popular a hundred years ago.
- I'm afraid the real writers will laugh at me for wanting to write yet another kid's book about a talking duck.
- I'm afraid that if I sent my novel to an agent and she doesn't like it, she'll tell all her agent friends about me and I'll be blacklisted forever.
- I'm afraid that I'll spend a bunch of money on professional editing and cover art which will never be recouped in sales.
- I'm afraid publishing has changed forever and I lost my chance to publish a book even before it was ready to submit to a publisher.
- I'm afraid my writing sucks.
- I'm afraid I'm kidding myself.
- I'm afraid I'm too lazy to be a writer.
- I'm afraid my writing is derivative.
- I'm afraid my life's path is set and it's too late to write.
- I'm afraid I'll make some crucial mistake.
- I'm afraid I'm not good enough.
- I'm afraid people will get tired of me.
- I'm afraid I'm doing this all wrong.
How does one counter these nebulous, wraith-like anxieties?
- "Just suck it up, quit whining and keep writing." Effective in some contexts, but not terribly supportive.
- "Take a deep breath, embrace the writer within you and keep writing." Like a nice cup of tea and a warm cookie, this will make you feel better because it's superficially affirming.
- "Ignore your inner critic, make a plan and keep writing." This is easier said than done, but I'm beginning to see a pattern.
- "Accept that everybody writes lousy first drafts, commit to fixing it in the editing and keep writing." OK, I'm definitely seeing a pattern here. Are you?
- "Take heart from your successes, embrace the lessons learned from your failures and keep writing." Do you see it? What's the commonality here? Anybody?
- "Know that while you won't please everyone with your writing, you can do what writers do, which is to please SOME people. Keep writing." I'm pretty sure I've got it now, thanks.
- "Fake it 'til you make it. Keep writing." I said I've got it, OK? You don't need to beat a dead horse.
- "Keep writing." Um, yeah.
That's enough for one blog post. I've got writing to do.
1. All of them that is, except for the book about a talking duck.
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