I have a novel manuscript (brag), a whole bunch of blog posts, and a million ideas for what to write in the future. Also (double brag): I just found a whole bunch of my old writing, and some of it isn’t total garbage.
But I am freaking terrified. What if everyone hates everything I write? What if no agent takes it? What if I die with a whole bunch of unpublished crap and no one cares?
This is what’s called fear of failure, and it is a pretty constant presence for most creatives. Well, it is for me anyway. It makes me doubt whether I should dream of being published, or even whether I should be writing at all. It’s hard because, as a writer, you need a really thick skin to be able to continue on through all the rejections and criticisms. And it seems that, no matter where the vulnerable spot is, that’s where the criticisms seem to hit.
All this is to say that I don’t have an answer to the “fear of failure” question. I don’t really think there is an answer. If anything, the solution is to learn to live with the fear of failure, and to listen to those critical voices without repeating them endlessly to yourself afterwards.
Fears are strange things, aren’t they? I find that oftentimes the fear itself is worse than the actual thing happening. Fear of being rejected? I’ve been rejected before. Fear of criticism? I actually seek it out. It’s almost like someone should say something about how the only thing that we should fear is fear itself.
I’ve gotten through 100% of the shit that life has thrown at me, and I’m still just as passionate about following my dreams. I don’t have to be awesome at everything, or even be successful. That’s important to remember. Everything will be okay, as long as I keep going. And I will.
Featured image was created by the author using elements from canva.com.