Sunday, November 13, 2016

Fear of Failure, Fear of Success

Ever tried to get over your fears? It’s pretty daunting, isn’t it? For writers, I think there’s plenty of things to worry about, and possibly fear, but I sometimes wonder if we project too much fear into our careers. Although we do invest a lot of time, money, and hopes into becoming published and/or making a bestsellers list, the fact is we’re not surgeons or cops or firefighters dealing with life or death situations. Sure, penning ideas to paper can have high stakes, but not on a daily basis.

Yet, many of us so passionately care about writing, being read, and earning money from our words, that the deep caring can be crippling. For me, I experience both fear of failure and fear of success to varying degrees. Most of the time, they’re well under control, but occasionally the feeling threatens to send me running. I start thinking about packing it in. But I then I remember why I’m really doing this—the love of writing—and then the boiling point relaxes to a simmer.

Doing a little bit of editing and/or writing each day works for me. Stamina and discipline are two things I have going for me. But a blog from John Athanasiou (HarperCollins UK), in which he lists the things that everyone in publishing needs to succeed, gave me pause to think. Although the article might be directed at employees of the publishing biz, I think a great deal of it applies to indie writers.

Some of the things on his list I’m already doing, such as creative problem-solving. Another great tip is called learning with agility. What he means by this is to not be afraid to fail frequently and fast, provided that you learn from your mistakes and move on.

Moving on quickly has been problematic for me. I stuck with the wrong agents for far too long, sought the wrong types of publishers, and attended the wrong types of conferences. I’m still learning to figure out how much time and energy to spend on social media, and to drop strategies that don’t work for me.

In case you were wondering the other three tips Athanasiou offers are:

. Power Communication and High Emotional Intelligence
. Openess, Integrity, and Honesty (openness is sometimes difficult for me)
. Results-Driven Work

He offers clear, concise explanations of each, so I strongly encourage you to visit his blog HERE. Meanwhile, time to get back to the results-driven work J

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