Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Fear of Writing by Diana Flegal

At any point in your writing journey have you suffered from a fear of failure? If so you are in good company.

Mind Tools blog mentions it's easy to find successful people who have experienced failure. For example:
  • Michael Jordan is widely considered to be one of the greatest basketball players of all time. And yet, he was cut from his high school basketball team because his coach didn't think he had enough skill.
  • Warren Buffet, one of the world's richest and most successful businessmen, was rejected by Harvard University.
We all know many successful authors have been rejected an outstanding number of times before getting traditionally published.

Can fear and failure work FOR us as writers?

Author Michael Clarkson says in his book Intelligent Fear: Fear can cause us to perform poorly in pressure situations or lead us to worry until we're immobilized, panic-stricken, or just plain helpless. But, if handled correctly, fear can actually work for us, giving us strength and courage when we need it the most.

Derek Sanderson- former NHL Hokey player agrees: "Fear is intelligence. Fear is God's way of making you tentative about something that will harm you. Fear keeps us civilized. Fear keeps us safe and alert. Don't deny fear. It's what makes us function properly."

To use fear to our advantage Marie Forleo teaches: Don't try to get over your fear, you need to get into your fear. Fear is excitement with the breaks on. Use that excitement to propel you forward.

Dealer Marketing Magazine tells us: When you’re afraid, you have three choices:
  • Ignore your fears and hope they go away.
  • Face your fears and stand up to them.
  • Use fear to your advantage. Embrace your fears.
When we use fear to our advantage, we no longer give him any say or any control. You have transferred its power to you.

Action conquers fear. Peter Nivio Zarlenga 


Nike presents: Just Do it! We're all capable of a little more -- a little faster, a little higher, a little stronger, a little more. And when we look at all of the little things we've done, we'll see the big things we're doing.


Linda Glaz said...

Love this post! I liked the comment, get into your fear. I think when you're part of something, it can't control you. Love it!

David B. Smith said...

I would add that a healthy dose of caution (fear, if you will) can nudge us away from writing something reckless or too edgy, or including a cherished tidbit that, deep down, we know will cause more consternation than blessings. I imagine the vilified Donald Sterling wishes he could take back his very ill-chosen words . . . but now they're out there for good.

Marlene Banks said...

Fear like criticism can be tolerated and become damaging or be challenged and used as a springboard for improvement. I suffered fear about writing professionally for years and would be further along in my career aspirations had I been brave enough to pursue it earlier. It's perfectly natural to lack confidence and be stagnated by fear but it's better to follow and trust God's choice when He called you to step out and do something. Once again, for those of us walking with Christ, it boils down to trusting God in His will for our lives and letting go of the natural fear we've accumulated from the world. Fear can be beneficial. It gives us the flight or fight instinct of survival so don't sell it short. However, it's woefully misplaced when we fear unnecessarily about what the Father already has under control. As a writer I always have a modicum of angst about my work and think I always will but it's not a crippling fear. Sadly we live in a society where crippling fear of all kinds of things is epidemic.

Diana said...

Yes Linda, I choose freedom any day!
David, I agree- if you feel a check in your spirit, listen to it.
Sadly Marlene, you are right. I think the world would be a different place if believers were free rather than all bound up and paralyzed by fear. Who knows what wonderful inventions might have been presented to the world, cures for disease or books written.