I’ve suffered insomnia at times in my life and I know that fear can raise its ugly head during the wee hours when you are between awake and doze. You are most vulnerable then and negative things keep running through your mind in a continuous loop.

As writers, we all experience this to some degree at various stages of our work. First it might be “I can’t come up with an idea.” Then, after a great start where the story flows effortlessly, there is that sudden stop and “Oh no! Where do I go next? What if I can’t finish the story?” The fear seems real.

After you finish the story and polish it to a high sheen, then fear sets in again: “What if I can’t get it published? What if nobody likes it?” Any small word of critique becomes that F.E.A.R.

OK, say your book gets published and after the happy dancing and celebrating calms down, then next phase of fear sets in. “What if I’m a one-shot wonder? That was just a fluke. I’ll never be able to do that again.”

I’ve been there, done that—all of it. Fear is destructive and counter-productive. We all need to confront that Fear and talk it down. You know you are doing the best job you possibly can, and you WILL finish that WIP, and readers WILL like it!

Think positively, take the next step, and persevere. Don’t let fear rule your writing life.


Karen Cioffi said...

It's so true, as a writer we all worry about the stages of our writing, at one time or another. One of mine is thinking of all I have to do. :)

widdershins said...

I try and have another project waiting in the wings to switch gears with ... it helps to reduce the F.E.A.R. factor.

Magdalena Ball said...

You're right Heidi. Fear, in all its forms, can be insidious and can stop us from achieving what we're capable of.

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

I think sometimes when we are stuck, we don't even realize that it is fear that is the underlying cause.

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