Dealing with fears

Writing IS fear. I can’t even begin to list all the things you can be afraid of in writing, because it spans from acceptance, to quality, to expectations, and so on. If it’s an aspect of writing, you can damn well be certain you might be afraid of it at some point.

Being afraid of doing something wrong is actually easy enough to overcome. You can make weird concessions to nullify half of the fear. And eventually, it seems like every writer comes to the same conclusion: you have to be willing to be bad. We all suck, and that’s cool.

But what about when you’re afraid of being good? That’s a little trickier. Everyone’s bad. We have terrible days, we can’t write for peanuts, we make mistakes. But not everyone is good, are they? That’s a little higher. That’s above the mark. And it’s terrifying for many people.

It can be really hard to find someone who relates to you, understands your plight, and is willing and able to be your support group. They aren’t the types who will just endlessly cheer you on, but they will also rein you in when you’re being a bit crazy, and will be honest and heartfelt with you. They are the ones who will be able to say, “You know what? You’re strong enough for success”.

Even so, getting over any fear is largely up to you. After all, at the end of the day, you might even be afraid of trying, and disappointing those supporting you so well. Or you might be afraid (irrationally!) of proving them all right. Who knows! Fear is crazy! So you have to make your mind up to ditch the fear. There’s a time and a place for accepting your fears, acknowledging them to see if they hold any validity. Sometimes the thing you’re worried about is legitimate, and you can fix it ahead of time.

But usually, you just need to look it over, realise the fear isn’t serving you, and release the emotion for better things. Say goodbye to your terrors, and embrace enthusiasm and love. It’s all in your head, and it’s all up to you!

~A

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8 thoughts on “Dealing with fears

  1. Nice post Ashlee and it can relate to other fields too, not just writing.
    You go for it.

    Fear is like sitting in a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but won’t get you anywhere.

  2. I needed this yesterday. Thank you. When it comes to doing something you really want to do, it is scary. But fear and hope go hand in hand it seems.

  3. Sometimes for me it’s not a fear of being bad or of being good but of the fear of the unknown. There are just so many unknowns in writing and the writing life….and the only thing I can do when I feel this way is simply to acknowledge the fear and continue to write, holding it at bay while I do… as you say, fear is crazy and it will also make you feel even crazier. Great post, Ashlee!

    1. That’s one of those tricky things, when you can be afraid of something so insubstantial and indescribable. Fearing the things you don’t even know, or fearing uncertainty can be a harder one to get by, too, because in some ways, you can’t dismiss the fears as being unfounded – you don’t know what you might HAVE to be afraid of! Man, it’s tough, but we just keep at it and that beats the fear eventually! 😉

      ~A

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