Choke on Coffee: An ISWG Post
The secondary definition of fear, right below lack of confidence, is the state of being open to danger or threat; lack of protection.
Okay, so you're not trembling in a cave, worrying about being eaten by a lion (at least I hope not. If you are, for crying out loud, throw the laptop at it and run!), but still...you've chosen to be a writer. A profession in which you pour your soul into words that you plan to share with the world.
And the world may hate them. They may hate you. They may say you're a worthless hack who deserves to be drawn and quartered for wasting their time and their $2.99.
Okay, so that may be an exaggeration.
But the truth is- your words are part of you.
When people kick them, it feels like they're kicking you.
There is no way to eliminate that threat. There is no protection.
So, there is fear.
Fear leads to inactivity.
Inactivity leads to excuses.
Excuses lead to narrow-minded thinking.
Narrow-minded thinking leads to refusal to learn and grow.
For example, Writer Jane is working on a novel. She tells a friend who rolls her eyes and says, "A novel? Well, that and 50 cents will get you a cup of coffee at McDonalds."
Jane cringes, but says nothing and heads home.
She sits at her keyboard and screams, "This book must be amazing. It must sell at auction for a gazillion-billion dollars so I can shove it in McDonald's-coffee bitch's face. I must prove I don't suck."
But what if I do suck? Jane thinks, defeated before she even types, Once upon a time.
Jane walks away from her desk. She can't write today, the toilet has a ring around it that could morph into ebowla and could kill the family. Once that is defeated, she will study some books on writing.
As Jane scrubs the commode, she reminds herself of the odds. Very few people write best-sellers. Hell, the few who do probably have aunts who own the publishing houses. All of them. Every single house in the world is operating on family and friend submissions.
Jane gives the potty the final flush and decides to mop the floor instead of studying because...honestly, what's the point anyway? Writing is just a big waste of time.
Oh, No Jane! This story could use an edit.
Jane tells her friend she's writing a novel...blah, blah, blah...Jane punches her in the face- figuratively, of course...then goes home, reminds herself that she knows she can't fail, she can only quit, and types: Once upon a time a bitch choked on a cup of coffee at McDonalds...
Boom. Best seller.
Jane replaced fear with faith.
Faith is the irrational belief that some way, some how, everything will turn out fine.
Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But one day.
There is no room for logic. No need for statistics and facts.
Writers know better than anyone how endings are made sweeter when the stakes are high and the characters are forced to go through hell.
It's where they grow. Where they learn.
And it truly is the most exciting part of the story...
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Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Thanks to our founder, Alex Cavanaugh, and this month's awesome co-hosts for the March 2 posting of the IWSG will be Lauren Hennessy,Lisa Buie-Collard, Lidy, Christine Rains, and Mary Aalgaard!