Monday, May 14, 2007

But Fear itself

Josi S. Kilpack

Fear is what stops most of us from writing or finishing our book--fear of rejection, mediocrity, and regret. The fear will paralyze us if we let it. So don't let it. Here's how:

1--Learn your craft; if you've never taken a writing class, read a writing book, or attended a writing conference--do you know how to write? If you don't know how to write, you will either a) Have no confidence in your writing and avoid finishing it because you know it's not very good b) Have too much confidence in your writing that has no basis in reality what so ever.

2--Set yourself up for criticism; join a writing group, submit articles, enter contests. You WILL need a thick skin to be a published author. There is no way around it. Once you get some criticism, some rejections, some failures, you'll realize it didn't make your head explode and that you survived it, which means your head likely won't explode if a publisher rejects your work down the road.

3--Keep going; when I hit a road block (which I do OFTEN) I set my timer for 30 minutes and make myself write. When the timer is up I breathe a sigh of relief and do something different, with the knowledge that I did my 30 minutes that day, and by doing so I am still moving forward a little bit at a time.

Regardless of whether you take this advice, I will make you these promises:

You will be rejected
You will be criticized
You will always question yourself
You will never overcome your fears completely

So, if you will experience these things anyway (and remember, I promised that you will) why not take my advice and face it as head on as you can. Learn to write, take rejection, and keep going. It's the only way to get to 'The End'. Writing is hard, fear and self-doubt sucks, so...write anyway :-)

2 comments:

Heather B. Moore said...

This is so true, Josi. Writing is definately the easy part. Editing is even a whole lot easier than buckling down and submitting your work.

Lu Ann Brobst Staheli said...

"You will be rejected
You will be criticized
You will always question yourself
You will never overcome your fears completely"

AMEN! If only I could get a few fewer of those rejections in the process!