Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Atychiphobia Begone!

A couple days ago my post addressed fear of rejection along with procrastination and lack of self-confidence. If you didn't read it, check it out here. Let's talk about that fear of failure a little more today. That dictionary word above is one you don't want used as a label for you.

It's a lot more common than we might think.It happens to newbies and to those who have published for many years. There are a lot of writers who have it but don't want to admit it, even to themselves. The first step to overcoming this fear is to admit it. You don't have to shout it to the mountaintops or put an ad in the local paper, but be honest with yourself. When you've finished a story and edited it, are you eager to send it to an editor or do you set it aside and play Scarlett O'Hara whose famous line was I'll think about that tomorrow. That illustrates fear breeding procrastination, doesn't it?

Steps in facing fear of rejection include the following:

1. Admit this fear to yourself

2. Don't procrastinate, meet it head on

3. Make an honest assessment of why you have this fear

4. Educate yourself about the underlying factors--books and articles address this, help is there if we look

5. Take it one step at a time

6. Do all you can to boost your self-confidence--read what experts say to understand your feelings or talk to another writer

7. Start small--don't write a novel as a first project, don't send your first work to a top literary magazine, work up to it

8. Accentuate the positives in your writing life

9. Keep a list of your successes--a great confidence booster

10. Look for a mentor so you're not swimming in deep water by yourself

So don't wear the hat of one who has  atychiphobia. Make yourself good enough by growing as a writer. The better writer you become, the more you can push that fear of rejection behind you. I won't say it will be gone forever because I think we all have it in some degree. The goal is that you don't want to let it rule your writing life. Look at that pronounciation guide for the word and then say the word a few times. Might be a good idea to end with Atychiphobia begone! 

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