Friday, November 11, 2011

Fear Not

I've been thinking about fear a lot lately.  The closer I get to finishing the more afraid I become.  Afraid that my best won't be good enough.

I recently saw this post where Rachelle Gardner tells this story about a friend.

 I called my editor this summer and said, “What the heck is going on? This is my sixth novel! Shouldn’t I at least have my creative process figured out by now?!” And she laughed at me.
She laughed.
And then through snorts she said, “Oh my gosh, is that really how you think this works?”

I guess I'm not going to get any less worried as time goes on, but that's ok because I also saw this: In her first comment to this post Joanna Bourne says "Never stop worrying.  It keeps us young."  What?!  Worry makes me old before my time.  It gives me wrinkles and ulcers.  But then I thought about how my worrying has improved my writing.  When I'm afraid something is poorly done I work harder at it, I try something new, I get new energy as I see myself improving. 

For me the opposite of fear is work.   So I keep working.  When I first started this novel I got to the middle and didn't know what to do.  I almost gave up, thinking it would be better to quit than to know I wasn't good enough.  Fortunately I kept working and I showed myself that I could do it.

There will be a point when I can't work anymore, where I have done everything it is in my power to do.  At that point we'll find out if it's enough.  I'd rather fail at that point, knowing there was nothing I could change, than fail because I didn't do my best.

What do you do to overcome fear, or do you make the fear work for you? 


  1. There's ALWAYS a point in every ms when I think NO ONE WILL CARE WHY ARE YOU EVEN BOTHERING TO WRITE THIS.
    And then I'll get a note from an agent, or now an editor saying, we loved it, just not enough.
    The beautiful thing is that I have a story, and my hope is that with a little tweaking it WILL be one people care about, want to help me sell, and want to buy.

  2. I reckon the scariest thing in the world is to get to a point in a story where you have to write these two words ... 'The End'

  3. You must have struck a cord, Sara. I just did a post for tomorrow on being stuck in the dreaded middle of the novel. Only it's not really the middle, because I'm a chunkster. But where am I going??

  4. Jolene, that's the writers curse and that's why it's so important we have agents, editors, crit partners or mother's that love our work. Keeps us off the ledge.

  5. Widdershins, terrifying and beautiful.

  6. Deniz, Ooo, I'm coming over to read.