Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October 2013 - Fear and Confidence


Fright Night.

Being afraid keeps us safe, makes us hyper-alert, cautious.  Yet fear often undermines us, our intent, or embarrasses us. It's what we don't know or refuse to see or listen to that will undo all the best of intentions. Or so it seems. Confidence is knowing. Knowledge is power. Identify the fear and we can confront it, deal with it, and grow as a writer.

So, how about we compile a list of spooks -- writer's fears? As a writer what is your fear? Is it a spooky thing or a monster? Why is it your worst or nagging fear? Is it writer's block? Is it the embarrassment of writing up-close-and-personal about a character or a steamy sex scene? Is it a fear of being criticized, humiliated? Is it __________ (you fill in the blank).

Well, don't sit there, staring at this page. Put your hands onto that keyboard and post your fear-comment with a comment, or do a journal entry for yourself that need not be shared with anyone. But in doing that writing, maybe you'll discover your fear isn't the monster you think it is.

Oh, if you're wondering if I have a writing fear, well, yes, I do. My fear is that because no one leaves a comment on this blog, no one reads my posts. No one hears me. I am alone on the page. Then again, if the comment feature isn't working, would someone please report it to me by clicking here.

***This blog is updated the first of each month. NOVEMBER's topic will be Rewriting or Revising, are they the same?

HATE REVISING YOUR FICTION? Then enroll in "Revision Boot Camp" - an online workshop, January 13 to 31, 2014. Click here for details, fee, and registration information. Early-bird discount until January 1. Limited enrollment.  Act now!

@2013 by Catherine E. McLean  * www.CatherineEmclean.com
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Kathy Otten said...

You are not alone. Cute post. My biggest fear is failure, that I'm not good enough, like who are you trying to kid? I have to confront that fear daily or I can't write a word.

Amy Bovaird said...

Wonderful and timely topic, Catherine! I am afraid that of bidding on a writing job even though I need desperately to bring in money. I'm afraid even if I do it, I'll get 2-star reviews instead of 5 after I complete the task. I'm trying to change my thinking and go for it. I've been writing for years but easing into the writer's professional world is a little scary.

Catherine said...

Thanks for sharing, Kathy. Way back when I was first learning about writing fiction, I felt that way too. I took a few goal-setting workshops and came up with this ditty that I keep on my wall:


It is Reality not Illusion--
It is a Setback, not Failure--
It is Achievement not Success--
Every Hurdle Provides Knowledge.
---C.E. McLean @ 1999

Catherine said...

Thanks for sharing, Amy. You might want to read the ditty on "Aspire" that I posted to Kathy Otten's comment.

Christie Maurer said...

I'm afraid of not being good enough. For 20 years my work was rejected. I'd get comments, "Oh, you write so well!" And "I'd love to read that." An editor friend said I had terrific stories, but nobody bought them. I went through critique groups, looked for an agent, queried editors, and polished and polished... Two years ago a fall put me in a wheelchair permanently and I was afraid I'd die without holding a book of mine in my hand. I kept writing and submitted to 4-5 more places. Nada. My fear was real. I never would be published.

Last winter I woke up one morning with a premonition that I'd better be fast and decided to self-publish. Last spring I nearly died of pneumonia. My free-lance editor loved my work. And late August I finally clutched my firstborn book to my bosom.

Marc Stewart said...

My fear is that my writing is not perfect,that I'll miss something when revising, some little thing that's seriously wrong or maybe just awkward. Even after I wrote the previous sentence I wondered whether it could be improved.

Catherine said...

Hi, Marc, I think every writer has worded and reworked our sentences and still have self-doubts about them being the right words. But at some point we have to stop and let them go into the world.

Catherine said...

Hi, Christy, I applaud you for hanging in there for 20 years and understand why you went the self-published route. I also applaud you for using an editor because from what I saw in the peek inside your book on Amazon, you do write well. As a matter of fact, the story was interesting--enough sp that I downloaded a copy. (And I am a very, very, very jaded reader.) I wish you all the best with the book.

clarbojahn said...

I'm afraid of failure like everyone else and I copied your ditty down for myself keeping your signature.

Thanks so much for posing this. I never get enough comments on my blog either even when it's twenty. I can never get enough. I need them like breath. :) http://clarbojahn.wordpress.com/

Catherine said...

Hi, Clara- Thanks for copying Aspire! I wrote it during one of my deep-down-dispair-oh-woe-is-me days and the ditty hangs as a sign on my office wall even today. As to getting comments, I don't sweat them anymore. At one time, when blogs were new, and not so many people had computers, everyone seemed to participate. Now with so many blogging and there never being enough time in a day, well, people just don't have time. A disquieting fact but reality. So, hang in there and enjoy the comments of people who do stop by. :)