Writers are people, too. We, like many humans, experience fear, and anxiety when it comes to stringing our souls across the page in sentences. There’s an uncertainty that inherently comes with being a writer and it’s born out of our humanity. Here are three fears we writers must face:
- You have zero talent. I’m guilty of this without a doubt. Every time someone compliments my work, I fight the urge to say, “It’s okay. You can be honest and tell me it’s shit.” Even if I don’t mean that – even if I know the moment someone criticizes it, I’m part way to tears. Every writer is afraid of being unremarkable writers. We’re afraid of being eaten by the void of nothingness as our stories slip through the cracks and better writers lead the way. It’s a terrible fear to have and we need to do whatever we can to exile it from our hearts.
- Rejection. It’s not just one “no” that attempts to cut you. It’s the possibility of hundreds of rejection letters you might receive. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: writing is a daunting path. You love it and hate it and all it tries to do is snap you like a twig. It’s worth it, though, if you can cope with the scary “NO” that you’ll get but in the end, perseverance pays off. Hang in there, fellow writer. You’re not alone.
- Fear that your book will not sell. I have to say that I do think this one stems from other people comparing a writer’s story to a million other books or shows they’ve seen. It can be disheartening – and annoying – to be told your story idea “sounds a lot like _____.” In conclusion, the unknowing person is saying a writer’s story has already been written by someone else. This isn’t true and leads to unnecessary fear. Of course, stories overlap. What writers read, watch, hear, and observe are influences on what they produce. This should not EVER deter a writer from finishing their book and sending it to agents or publishers, though.
Everyone has fears. It’s not uncommon for people who aren’t writers to experience the same fears that writers do and vice versa. What we choose to do about the fears is what will ultimately set us apart. I don’t believe we can 100% eradicate them because being afraid, in its own way, keeps us humble. It reminds us that we should be grateful for what we have accomplished and continue to strive for our goals. When you find yourself being overcome with fear, remember that you’re here; you are writing and facing your fears every day. That is quite a feat in itself!