Fear is the enemy. It paralyses, panics. It whispers seductively, its only purpose to stifle imagination, destroy confidence and crush fragile egos. It feeds procrastination, eroding what resolve may remain. It is one of our strongest enemies and weakest ally.
Mostly, it lies. Big fat whoppers. Furphies designed to create even more fear.
Its strongest weapon? What if…
What if I can’t find the words, run out of ideas?
What if I write rubbish?
What if I finish and don’t have the courage to show anyone?
What if I get judged, get laughed at?
Fear of failure.
Fear of finishing.
Fear of being judged.
Fear of rejection.
Fear of embarrassing myself.
Fear of everything. I understand many writers have the same fears. Maybe that is why 95% don’t complete their project and yet another 95% do nothing, leaving their manuscript in the drawer – hidden from judging eyes?
But I can control it. I can be mistress of my own fate. If I don’t finish, if I don’t submit it, I have no chance of success. None. How I loathe pressing that enter key – that big red button! But it isn’t the end of the world. It is not my doom. Not pressing it is the real tragedy; the end of hope.
Why would I spend months of my life, pouring parts of my soul onto the page, and not give myself even a small hope of publication? Fear of failure… or fear of success?
So I pressed the enter button and submitted my short story for consideration in that anthology. Fleeting panic grips my heart. Too late now. It is done. There is a sense of uneasy relief. I am already ahead of those 95% who did not push that big red button.
Now I have to wait until the end of April for their judgement…
And hope I didn’t embarrass myself too much.