photo © 2009 Pete Markham | more info (via: Wylio)Last week on Seekerville, Shannon Taylor Vannatter blogged about Writing The Second Book.
(BTW, thank you to readers who made my real-life love story the #1 favorite for the first quarter of 2011 on Shannon's Inkslinger Blog! You can read the story HERE.)
After reading Shannon's Seekerville post, I was reminded anew that fear is a writer's constant companion.
What if I can't write a whole novel?
What if I never get an agent?
What if I never get published?
What if I do get published, but nobody likes it?
What if people like my book, but I find out I'm a one-hit wonder?
What if I don't ever get another contract?
What if I can't move up from category to trade-length?
What if my genre dies?
What if I can't ever figure out this branding thing?
The truth is, when I focus on these fears, it's like handing Fear the keys to the car. I'm no longer in the driver's seat. Fear is taking me where it wants me to go. I'm just along for the ride.
So, how do I get the keys back?
By force if necessary!
I have to remind myself that I've come such a long way, and every step of the way, I've faced fear. With the Lord's help, I've perservered. It hasn't been easy, nobody said it would be, but giving in to fears isn't the answer.
Some authors have a "happy file" where they keep positive feedback and special remembrances of success on the journey. When things look bad, when Fear is careening all over the road and up on the sidewalks, they take out this file and remind themselves of where they've been.
I think for me, my writing scrapbook is like a happy file. I enjoy perusing the pages and reminding myself of how far I've come. I also remind myself of the positive feedback I've received. I don't do this to toot my own horn or to feed my pride, but to say, "Hey, you've done this before and you can do it again."
Another way I dispel fear is to get to work. There is always anotherphoto © 2010 Mark Ash | more info (via: Wylio)
project, another WIP, another edit, another something that needs to be done. Putting my head down and working means I'm not listening to Fear.
By refusing to give in to the fears, I relegate those fears to their place on this journey. Tied up in the trunk!
Does this writing life scare you? How do you dispel the fear?