Monday, March 7, 2011

Being Fearless

We all have fears. No one wants to freely admit it. We like to go about our day, pushing through. Never dwelling on the negative, always remaining positive right? Well, like it or not the fear is there...lurking in the corners, waiting to strike. It snatches our ideas and siphons our creativity. So how do you go about being realistic while battling this invisible foe all at once? Here are a few tips:

1. Allow yourself to be afraid: Yes, you heard me right. You have to face your fears. Its not pretty, but I promise you will feel better. Others are scared too. And it is okay to admit it. There I said it. Now that we all know, we can deal and move on. Once you admit to the fear, you can mute it, set it aside and get your story on paper. And that's the important thing. To be able to tell your story.

2. Ask for help: The hardest thing to do is let others read your work. The first time I sent chapters off to a beta I nearly gnawed my nails into nothing. But everything turned out to be fine. Sure she may have had a lot of notes, but I was able to fix what was wrong and make my ms even better. Writing my very first query letter seemed impossible, but I sought out help. Places like Query Tracker are amazing resources for writers. Go there. Get help! I promise you won't be disappointed.

3. Put Others First: Help out your fellow writers, you'd be amazed at how good it feels. I haven't met a fellow writer yet that wouldn't bend over backwards to help someone out. It's what we do. Become a beta, get on those sites and help proof a query letter or even just offer a sympathetic ear.

4. Cheer Up: You're not in this alone. It may seem that way sometimes when you're in your little writing cave and the doubt creeps in. But it is far from true. I have met so many amazing people in this blogging community. We may all be at different stages of this long journey, but at some point we all have to face the same hurdles. It helps to know that someone else has been where you are.

5. Relax: It terrifies me when my ideas for my current ms run dry. But I've learned through several trips to Starbucks and countless amounts of chocolate that stress is not my friend. So when you feel the fear creeping up take some time for yourself. Take a walk, watch a movie, or my personal favorite, go shopping! Whatever you do, make sure its something that relaxes you. The ideas will come. Trust me.

These tips may not be foolproof, they are what they are, suggestions. I'm not saying I'm completely fearless yet, but I'm working on it. Bottom line when it comes to writing...you just need to sit yourself down and write what comes to you. Block out everything else and write. The rest will fall into place.

Now that we have all that out, it's time to share. What scares you the most about writing? Or have you made it to fearless?

13 comments:

Melissa said...

These are great tips for dealing with our fears! Thanks Renae!

I think what scares me enough...is that my stories won't be good enough -- that I don't have enough talent to succeed.

Angela Felsted said...

I try really hard not to dwell on my fears, otherwise they swallow me up.

Chris Phillips said...

This is one of those topics where I know all that stuff, but I still need to read it.

Matthew Rush said...

I can't remember where it comes from, but I love this quote:

"You cannot be courageous, without first being afraid."

Tara (The Bodacious Pen) said...

Great post! I think what scares me most about writing is not the actual craft, but what comes after. Once the book is in the hands of the public, and the reviews, and that I might have to do public speaking...eek! It's scary, but it's so far away that I know I can deal with it. Just a few months ago I was terrified at the thought of letting anyone read my work, even my husband or closest friends. I've gotten over that fear, so I'm sure I'll adjust and learn to deal with those things when they (hopefully) are a reality.

Andrea Franco-Cook said...

Great post. I especially like the reminder that I'm not alone. Sometimes us writer's tend to forget this. Thanks for sharing.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Love the post, Renae. Chocolate is wonderful, so is reading and exercise. They all seem to help me. That plus all my wonderful blogging friends. I don't know what I would do without them. :D

Danyelle said...

Great tips! Especially allowing yourself to be afraid. I think the thing that scares me the most is success. Because then the expectations are a lot higher which means failure would hurt that much more.

Abby Minard said...

Oh yes, one of my biggest fears- what if they hate it, or what if I truly am not a good writer? I have a crit group that I absolutely love, and they love my work. But every time it's my turn on the chopping block, I get so scared that they'll hate it. But they don't, and even though they may have some great notes, I know they just want me to succeed. But the fear is still there, and I know it will be when I'm ready to start querying.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for sharing this. Besides the fear that my work will never be good enough, I really fear whether I can handle it all with working. Because as the breadwinner of the family with a daughter going to college in 4 years, I know I'll have to write with a demanding job as an attorney.

Kenda said...

There's great encouragement in this post--thanks :-) I think I might add, keep the words flowing. No matter how bad you feel your work is going, get something down on paper every day. That way the creative juices will continue to flow. And then good surprises almost always will follow!

Regina said...

This is a really great post. I enjoyed reading about it and it got me thinking about what I am afraid of with my writing. I guess the fear of failing is one of the biggest ones.

Jen Daiker said...

I needed this. This evening I'm about to dive into revisions and I'm nervous. Nervous for what I am going to cut, add, and incorporate. The feelings are terrifying. I don't want to ruin my WIP and I know this will make it better... so why am I so nervous??? Because change is scary...

Let's just hope it works out in the end! Phew, saying it aloud gives me confidence!