Dealing with Fear and Doubt as a Writer

At some point in every author’s career, there comes a time when we are pitted against a threat that can do more damage to our ambition than a stack of rejection letters and Writer’s Block From Hell combined.

Fear.

I think with any new endeavor, self doubt is something that is unavoidable, and in its own way a necessary evil that we must overcome in order to grow. This goes especially for a writer – someone who is relying on their own imagination and creativity to be successful. It’s how you deal with this fear that determines whether or not it will become detrimental to your career as a writer.

For me, the fear creeps in when I allow myself to dwell on what others will think of my writing. It gets me every time – and until I can shake it, I’m frozen in place and unable to write. Part of me wonders if I’m any good at this writing stuff. On top of that, I worry whether or not I will be successful because of my subject matter. A vast majority of my stories involve or will involve either main or side characters that fall within the GLBTQ category – characters who are in some way or another gender diverse. This is a topic that is thankfully becoming more and more mainstream as the years go by… but unfortunately still endures a great deal of negativity. This scares me, and sometimes I wonder if I’ve killed my career before I’ve even gotten started.

I have to constantly remind myself that writing comes from the heart and soul – if you’re not passionate about what you write, chances are your writing will not reach its full potential. There are many reasons why I choose to write in this genre (the discussion of which really doesn’t belong in this particular post). Ultimately, the only thing that really matters is that I am passionate about my writing. My gender diverse characters really speak to me, and I know that I’m the right person to tell their story. Altering them to make them more “mainstream” goes against my very core – how can I connect with a story that’s fighting me the whole way?

My point is, as soon as I remember my passion and start writing for myself again, setting aside the fear and doubt, the story breaks free from my heart and spills out on the page. I have to believe in what I am writing so that the reader will believe it right along with me.

~B

~ What are some fears you’ve come up against while trying to reach your own goals? How did you conquer them and move forward? ~

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