We all have fears and insecurities as writers. If we don’t, we may be in denial. I created a list of my five top writing fears. Yours may differ in the order or the content, but you may also find some that match.
“A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”
5. Fear of Success: Yes, really. What if I succeed? What will I do with that? I’ll need to speak and promote. I can’t do that (smacks of inverted fear of failure, doesn’t it?).
The Fix: Don’t worry about overnight, brilliant success. It’s rare. Keep at it, take opportunities to learn about promotion and how to handle it. I will forever be a proponent of Toastmasters. I joined when my first book was due to release, because I was terrified to speak. It worked. I’m not incredible, but the fear is very much decreased.
4. Fear of Losing your Muse: What if I have no more stories left, or life pushes me away from writing or I end up wanting to retire from the writing life.
The Fix: Don’t live for someone else’s approval. All we need worry about is God’s approval. What if He calls us away from the keyboard? What’s the worst that can happen? People will eventually get it. If they are true friends, they will understand, and if they’re not, why do we care? We must follow God’s path for our lives.
3. Fear of Not Meeting Expectations: We’ve written a book, maybe two, and other people have started to see writing as our forte. But, we doubt ourselves and feel we will let them down sooner that later. We might choose the wrong genre or the wrong story structure.
The Fix: Stop comparing yourself to/with others. Be who you are called to be and concentrate on that. It’s enough. You have only one life to live; live it the way you need to. You will not be held accountable for fulfilling the expectations of others, only following your chosen path.
2. Fear of being an Imposter: The Imposter Syndrome is prevalent among writers. We manage to put out a book and now people think we are real writers. What do we know? It was a fluke, right? Anyone could have done it. We may never be able to write another book, and we’re just pretending to be writers.
The Fix: Most of us experience this fear when we’re called upon to live up to our CV. Take it in stride. We will always have less experience than some people, but likewise, we will always have more experience than some. So gather up what you know and share it.
1. Fear of Failure: I’ll never be able to complete this project. I don’t have what it takes. I don’t have the organizational skills, the time management strengths, the understanding of grammar, etc.
The Fix: Keep at it. No one can call you a failure as long as you’re trying. Organizational skills and time management can be learned and adapted to your specific needs. And grammar, well, there are many writers and editors out there who excel at fixing that. Trade skills or pay them for their work.
AFTER I composed this list of fears, based on the ones I’ve experienced personally, I went to the internet and googled. It appears I’m not alone. Nor are you.