Thursday, July 29, 2010

Overcoming Your Fears

Fellow Cleveland writer and bookcluber Christina Lee wrote a great blog the other day that I wanted to respond to.

She writes, "I received an interesting email from a reader. She asked how I dealt with the jealousy of hearing other writers succeed on Twitter and other blogs."

Christina's reply was that didn't feel jealousy, instead, she felt fear.

She wrote about her fear of not feeling good enough, not finding an agent and not realizing your dreams.

I'm hear to say that she isn't alone. I totally understood her post and also feel that fear. Unagented people aren't the only ones who have fears about their writing.

I was always one of those people who wished and hoped and prayed that I would find an agent. However, I now know it doesn't end there.

I still have fear, but it's a new kind of fear. My book is on submission and I fear that it won't sell. I fear I won't be able to finish my next book (which might be the book that sells instead). I fear that I've spent so many hours and so much time doing something that isn't good enough.

I venture to guess that even if (when!) my book sells, I will have a whole new set of fears. I'm not sure there would ever be a point where your fears end. I also think that's a good thing, because it's my fear that also keeps me going. I want to beat these fears, I want to show these fears who is boss, and because of that, I write and write and write.

Fear can be a terrible thing, but I also know how good it feels when I conquer my fears. So for now, I will keep writing and battling my fears.

What about about you? What do you fear about writing? How do you deal with this?


Christina Lee said...

Oh-- this was a surprise Rachele! Thanks for the link! ;--)I am just glad I have good writer friends (like you) to talk through my fears with!

Janet Johnson said...

I loved Christina's post. But yeah, I think the fear never ends. The trick is not letting it stop you. :)

Great post!

Meredith said...

There are so many fears in this process, but I try to tell myself it just means I will always have goals. My goal now is to sign with an agent, then to sell a book, then to sell another book, and so on. It's scary, but it keeps me motivated to turn the fears into ambitions.

Matthew Rush said...

Fear is natural and can even be of use sometimes, but you can't let it run you or influence your decisions. Believe in yourself, believe in your work, and try to find some Zen.

Of course saying all that is the easy part.

Melissa Gill said...

Fear of rejection has haunted my whole life. Putting something as personal as my writing out there, is helping me overcome that fear. Hopefully I can apply the lessons I've learned to the rest of my life.

Kristan said...

You know, I had been thinking about this more specifically since my good friend Erin recently signed with her agent. Would I be jealous?

I feared that I would. But to my pleasant surprise, I wasn't, not in the least. I knew Erin had worked hard to deserve this, and actually I found it very *encouraging*. Because she and I had been going through things together for a long time, and we both enjoy and respect each other's work, so her getting an agent was a reminder to me that it does happen, it can happen, and it *will* happen for me.

Strangely, I do find myself *slightly* jealous of other writers I don't know as well, the ones that I just read about online. But the more I learn about them, the more that fades.

So I guess for me it's not really fear or jealousy, but more turning these stories I hear and read about into motivation and reassurance.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

You are completely right. The fear doesn't end -- even after you are blessed enough to see your novel on a bookstore shelf. Your friends and family think you're crazy, but you are attacked by the exact same set of fears you listed above --- they're just transferred to the next book!

How do I conquer my fears? I don't know, but I'm working on it ...

I know it helps to be part of a community of writers all dealing with the same feelings and willing to share them, commiserate, encourage, and cheer one another on.

Thanks for a great post! I will have to check out Christina's post, too.

Sara McClung ♥ said...

I try to use my fears as motivation. Though it's way easier said than done... I definitely have a day every once in a while where I just want to quit because it feels like it's never going to happen and I'm terrified to keep trying for something so elusive. But then I remember how much I love write, love my characters, love my writing friends and I get to typing all over again =)

Lenny said...

hi miss rachele! i dont have any writing fears. i just write cause i love doing it. if my stuff ever got on a book shelf it would be cool but if it doesnt its ok too and im just gonna keep writing for the love of it. it makes me happy when someone says how good it feels cause they got an agent or their book is gonna get on the shelf cause thats their dream. i hope everyone who wants that gets it.
...hugs from lenny