fear

Desire for Success

Fear is a killer for writers. I can’t speak for everyone, but most of the time when I have fits of writer’s block, if I dig deeply enough into my own psyche, I find fear to be the ultimate culprit. Fear that the stuff I’m writing is pure shit. Fear that, after all my work and all the years dreaming about the possibility of it, I won’t be able to find an agent or a publisher. Fear that even if I do, people will read my works and conclude that I’m a hack. That I should have been using my keyboard to do something else–swat flies, perhaps–because then, at least, I would have been putting it to good use. Fear that I’ll fail, not on one level, but on all of them.

I could tick off each of those fears and pick apart the flaws in them–getting published, for example, is not what makes a writer a success or failure–but fear isn’t a rational beast. While I might be able to counter each fear with logic, fear laughs in the face of sound arguments. You can’t reason with it. It will just giggle and prod you again.

Instead, you have to face it. You have to work through and past it. You have to laugh in its face, casually admitting that, true, you might fail here or there, but it won’t matter because you’ll have already succeeded in the most important way possible simply by trying.

Forgive how much that sounds like an after school special tag line, but it’s true.

You have to know that first, though. Your desire for success must be greater than your fear of failure, yes, but if you define success poorly, you could miss it entirely when it comes. Success for a writer is sitting down in front of a blank page and not getting up until there are lines of text all over that bad boy. That’s success.

And your desire for that–your desire to write–must be greater than your fear of failure.

Don’t let fear stifle your story. Don’t let it rob you of success. Even when you feel like everything you’re writing is garbage, write anyway. Kick fear’s ass.

Best of luck in your writing this week.

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About Ash Martin
Ash Martin writes dark fantasy and horror, has a thing for classic monster legends, Nordic mythology, coffee, and sarcasm, and is currently working on multiple books.

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