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Today is about fear and loathing ...
Fear is helpful when you are running for your life from a crazed wild animal or ax wielding lunatic.
It's not so helpful when you are trying to write a book. Or a series. Or launch a writing career.
First I suppose we should define fear:
The definition doesn't sound like something that should affect writers. We're sitting in our own space, most likely not under threat of bodily harm, yet we all most all experience some type of fear about our writing.
Even though we are clearly not under physical threat--as used the in definition above--we could be said to be operating under mental threat. What will happen to our livelihoods when we fail? Or, if we're still holding our day jobs, what will happen to our sense of self when we fail?
Note I say WHEN we fail. We will fail, it's the nature of what we do. If we approach our writing fearing that we'll fail, we're already making things worse. Accept it. You will fail. I will fail. If we've been at this a while, we've already failed many times.
But fear can cripple a writer. And not just fear of failure- but fear of success. Perverse as the human mind is, we can even fear both at the same time. These fears can stop us from writing or can make us find so many folks to get feedback from that we kill our work.
So how do we move beyond fear when we write?
First, like I said above- accept it, embrace it, make buddies with it. Maybe make a little fear doll to sit next to you when you write. Acknowledge it every day. YOU control it- not the other way around.
Second, make notes of what scares you at that point. This will probably change at different parts of the process- so acknowledge each one during its time.
Third, follow that fear to the ground. What would be the worse thing that could happen if what you fear is true- comes about? Now go over the top with it. Will the world still stand? Friends and family still love you? WILL IT STOP YOU FROM WRITING?
Fourth, tell your fear you are doing it anyway- and get back to writing, editing, pitching, or selling- whatever stage you are at- hug your fear, and move on.
The only way to be fearless is to embrace your fears and let them make you stronger.