Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Survival Tip #7 - We're All Afraid of Something

Ever get that roiling sense of nausea in the pit of your belly just thinking about something?  Maybe it's something easy to point to - like spiders or heights.  Maybe it's not.  Perhaps it's something so abstract you can't put your finger on it without a few therapy sessions or several long hours of really deep introspection.

As a writer, this amorphous fear can totally stall us.  We're terrified of something, but we're not quite sure what.  Are we scared of rejection?  Lord knows we get enough of it in this biz.  Are we terrified no one will like the words that came out of our heads?  Just talking about it is making it hard to type.

I don't know if it helps you to hear this, but we're all afraid of something.  (Yeah, yeah, you've been told that before - but have you really heard it?)  Even best sellers get the creeping willies about some aspect of this business - be it their own writing or the public's reception of said writing or whether they have another book inside them when their brain feels as fertile as the Sahara. 

We're all in the same boat here.  And it helps to remember that.  So, if you're sitting at your computer, petrified by the thought of sending out another query or horrified over opening that new email from an agent or just stuck because you're afraid everything you write is garbage - wrap the idea around yourself as you forge ahead.

Because despite all the fears, you really do have to forge ahead. 

What are you afraid of?  Personally, I'm afraid of moths and of suffocation. I'm also harboring all the little writing fears described above, but I'm forging ahead.  Are you?


  1. Great post. I'm afraid of spiders and heights, not afraid of moths, never considered suffocation....thanks for planting that one in my brain. :-(

    I've got all the writing fears...succinctly summed up with "What if they figure out how much I suck?" (I'm surprised each and every time I get a good review.)

    But you're right, you MUST forge ahead!

  2. I'm not afraid of heights, JB, but I get bad vertigo, so they're out for me anyway. Sorry about planting the suffocation fear in your head. Hope you didn't like sleeping with the covers over your head. :shudder: Oh yeah, that sums it all up very nicely. And we'll all forge ahead together. =o)

  3. There's not a whole lot I'm afraid of. I have a healthy respect for a whole host of stuff, but...I'm not really terrified in that heart-stopping-unable-to-breath-scream-like-a-girl way.

    As a writer? Whole different story! Yeah, put a tick mark beside each one of those!

  4. That list is WAY TOO LONG to share, and embarrassing. But I can share the strangest fear I've ever heard of! I had a boss once who was scared of cotton balls. Seriously. Turns out when she was tiny her mother would put them in places she didn't want her to go and made up some horrible story about them. She was traumatized for life!

    Anyways, back to work. Because for some reason putting the polishing touches on The End freaks me out and I find myself stalling. Haven't figured out which fear is behind that nonsense yet.


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