And the word is…Fear

This week is ending with me in a state of insecurity. I read over my writing and see the potential there, but struggle to believe I am the one to be able to tease it out. The editing of the novel appears insurmountable, even though I have printed off three chapters to read through and highlight mistakes. But this just serves to challenge me further, as once I have mended the larger issues – inconsistency in viewpoint and over use of adverbs – I perish the thought of having to go back and identify further problems. What if I have to re-write the whole book?

Perhaps it’s just the monstrosity of the task that lies ahead that has me shaken.

It’s also the lack of any response to the writing I have sent out. Granted, it’s not that much and I’m fairly inexperienced when it comes to submitting. I never expected it to be easy. Yet, some of my hopes have been quashed. I thought I was good at this. But good doesn’t seem enough any more and I am stumbling wildly in the dark.

I’m beginning to believe that I haven’t invested my full self into the effort of ‘writing’. I haven’t tried hard enough, nor am I challenging myself enough. And it’s because of fear. I’m afraid that if I do push so hard that I’ll have nothing to show for it and my hopes will be crushed.

Every writer must go through this. I don’t know why I thought I might be different (every writer probably also thinks this too).

The only thing I can think to do is to get lost in the writing. Keep going. Work long and hard enough for the feelings of insecurity to be put to one side and the fear to be forgotten. I need to be more proactive – submit more writing so that I don’t pin all my hopes on my last piece (the one that my beta readers said was ‘powerful’ and ‘made them cry’).

In the end, I want to make it. I want to know that I really tried and didn’t just pretend to try – this is something that seems to be an epidemic in society today; the pretence that we’re making a real effort when really we’re just going through the motions. And it’s the abject terror of failure that holds us back. That, and the real possibility that we might succeed. These days we’re equally afraid of both being a failure and a success. After all, if we succeed at one venture, then the stakes are raised and the idea that we might fall from a further height becomes not just a possibility, but a probability.

So it’s all of this, and more, that makes me tentative and fearful. Perhaps the only way to conquer the fear is to confront it. If I’m afraid of being a failure, I’ll just continue to try until I succeed. If I’m afraid that success will lead me to high probability of failure, then I’ll have to learn to accept this as a consequence. The important thing is to move forward. Not let the fear immobilise me and take away the essence of my dream.

Therefore the to-do list is back with a vengeance. I won’t let the insecurities beat me – I’ll use the energy to forge on ahead instead.

To-do List
20th – 26th May

1. Write a Story a Day and add it to the collection on the Story a Day 2013 Page (please read and comment if you have the time – a part of my insecurity lies in the fear of my writing not being read!)

2. Print and edit major issues in three chapters of NaNo #1

3. Make changes identified in new draft for NaNo #1

4. Identify ONE competition/submission to be made before 1st June

5. Attend Creative Writing Group at Library (Wed AM) to meet other local writers


4 responses to “And the word is…Fear

  1. Pingback: 2013: In Review | Cat Lumb: The Struggle to be a Writer

  2. (((((hugs))))) dont give up honey!

    Ive been feeling like that myself and I’ve begun to realise that its not a race, i can take my time, learn, improve, grow.

    You WILL get there Cat, but, you’re right, its scary!


    • Thanks Vikki. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that it’s just as challenging for everyone else.
      We’re both hard workers, so I’m sure it will happen. We’re far too stubborn to accept otherwise! lol!
      Hope you’re doing well. x

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