You Are Not Alone
Every writer goes through fear at some point. That pit-in-the-stomach, I’m-not-good-enough, my-story-sucks, no-one-will-ever-read-this fear blasts strike all writers. Creativity rides the emotional rollercoaster. Creativity is risk taking. Yes, successful, multi-book authors have the same fears.
Self-Doubt Is The Number One Writer Fear
Blame it on your amygdala, part of your body’s alarm system. Located at the root of your brain the amygdala does everything it can—automatically—keep you safe. If there is risk, the amygdala sends out signals to keep your body safe. Creativity is risk. Fear will happen. You’ll get fear-lessening signals of every kind.
- My writing sucks.
- That just-out-of-college and read 10 books editor who rewrote everything was right. My writing sucks.
- My Mom/Sister/Uncle/Spouse/Best Friend hates it. No one will like it. I should quit now.
So you can’t listen to what people say. There will always be people telling you “you can’t do this,” or “I don’t like this.” There are so many writers who have gotten 80,000 rejections and then suddenly they sell a book and it’s a huge critical and commercial success. So you never know. Just keep writing.
Self-doubt manifests as self-censorship, so one of the best ways to calm that fear is to keep writing until you find your voice. That unique voice that makes a reader love what you write. So, keep writing. Don’t get thrown off track. Focus on your current project and your long-term writing goals.
Fear of Rejection
One major element of writer fear is rejection. Just about anyone can trigger rejection fear. You can find yourself in a shutdown of getting your work out, even for help from professionals like editors. So, you can end up not sharing your work, even bits of it, with other people.
- Other writers
- An overbearing “leader”
- Without group guidelines
- A group the doesn’t follow the stated guidelines or allows members to captivate time