Me Against Me (Fear vs. Courage)

Me Against Me (Fear vs. Courage)

 I’ve noticed that I’m spending more time on everything except finishing my manuscript review; it’s a pattern I’ve seen before.  When I near completion of something, my inclination is to stop and move on to another project.  Some might call this flighty, others irresponsible.  Some might figure I just don’t’ know what I want in life, while others may think I’m lazy.

But, I know it’s something worse; a secret I don’t discuss because we don’t show weaknesses, right?   I’ve alluded to issues of self-doubt in previous posts, but I’m going to identify the root of my problem right now: Fear.  Simple, right?  I’m afraid of everything.  Thoughts of failure bog me down; I’m intimidated by the slightest possibility of success; unsure of my abilities; and overly concerned with how my work stacks up against so many other people that are better than me.

Fear rules my life.  I’m confident in my work only because I’ve done the same thing for so long.  I’ve tried other things before, but always run back to what I know because it’s easier; because I can’t fail.  I stopped writing many years ago after creating a mini-graveyard of incomplete stories because the publishing world was too formidable.  Why would they publish my work, after all, with so many talented writers out there? 

Nearly two years ago, I scraped together some courage and defiantly started a novel (my personal Revolutionary War, if you will).  In January, the story was complete, with a beginning, middle and end.  Yes!  I finally beat fear…or did I?   Failure preoccupies my mind.  What if I can’t find an agent?  What if, by some miracle, I find an agent, and they can’t sell my story?  What if, by another miracle from God, they sell my story, but no one likes it.  I could keep going, but this thought process is so crippling, my fingers won’t form the letters to those words.

The goal of this post is not to whine about how difficult writing and the publishing business are; anyone who writes knows that.  My purpose is to acknowledge something that stifles me as a writer, and as a person and sabotages any attempt at change.   I know it’s going to be a daily struggle between courage and fear, but I’m tired of being fear’s pawn. 

So, today, I challenge:  bring it on, fear.  I’m ready; and I’ve got 30+ years of frustration to back me up!  (Sorry, I’m a woman; I can’t divulge the exact number of years, but can’t, with good conscience claim only 20+).

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4 thoughts on “Me Against Me (Fear vs. Courage)

  1. chlost May 16, 2010 / 7:35 PM

    Just by calling it out you are taming it. Take it on. You will win. And slowly you will begin to believe that success is not to be feared. Because I think that is what you are really fearful of, not the failure. If you succeed, then what? Believe me, I have lived with this, too.

    Take care, good luck…..-

    • jannatwrites May 16, 2010 / 7:56 PM

      Thanks for the encouragement. I appreciate it! It’s been a tough couple of days, but I’ll take a deep breath and pull it together 🙂

  2. allihurley May 18, 2010 / 9:25 PM

    Thanks for coming to visit my site! It’s good to know I’m not alone out there, fear and discouragement tripping me up at every attempt towards that passionate pursuit we call publication.
    You’ve already done more than most people by completing a manuscript! You can go the distance. Keep up the good work!

    • jannatwrites May 18, 2010 / 10:19 PM

      I’ll come visit again…I just have to limit my online time, or I don’t get anything done. If I haven’t done a post on my procrastination yet, I should. I’ll look at that tomorrow 🙂

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