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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Writers Can Have Monsters Under The Bed

I cannot tell you how many times I've heard people claim there is no way they can try public speaking. Or teach a workshop. Or actually submit some of their writing for publication. Fear! It's more common than you might think among those who write.

So what do writers fear? Here are just a few monsters lurking under the bed for writers.

Some Writers Fear:

1. submitting anything they've written
2. sharing what they've written with others
3. promoting their work through book signings or public speaking
4. success
5. not measuring up to their own goals
6. critcism from others regarding their writing
7. not being able to write a second or third book after publishing one
8. critical reviews
9. writers block
10. finding inspiration

We all have human failings at times. Anyone who writes can probably tell you that he/she has had at least some of the fears in the list. Even highly successful writers must address some of these fears now and then. A few even become obssessed by them. That is one thing you do not want to do. Instead, face your fears and ask yourself what you can do to overcome them.

Eleanor Roosevelt's quote at the top of this post encourages those who deal with these fears. Just words you might say. But are they only words she gave us? I don't think so. I say that her advice would be well heeded by any and all of us in the writing world. Every time you try to erase one of your fears, you do gain self-confidence and courage and strength. It's not an overnight process but a work in progress.

Look at that list again. What's the worst thing that can happen if any one of those is true for you? You're not going to die. You're not going to be locked in a jail cell for twenty years. You're not going to be put in the stocks like the Colonials of our country were to be publicly humiliated. You're not going to lose all your friends. Uh-uh!

I find that we often bring on our own fears. With that in mind, can't we say the reverse? If we are responsible for creating our own fears, we should be able to conquer them on our own, too. Maybe not all in one fell swoop but step by step. Take any one of those in the list and ask yourself what you can do to face that fear? Don't attempt to work on all in that list that might apply to you. One at a time and a step at a time.

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