Fear. A four letter word that writers know well. It’s a facet of our lives that sometimes gets the better of us.
Sending our children out into the cruel world has nothing on submitting our writing for consideration. At least our children can fight back, hopefully with the tools of experience we have provided them. But there’s no one to protect our words, except our words themselves.
What if we aren’t good enough? What if nobody likes what we have written? What if our work is rejected?
I’ve been writing since I was young. By no means does that make me an expert. But I must be on the right track because I’ve gotten positive feedback from people who have read my work. I know I still have a lot to learn. And yes, maybe I am just a little bit afraid of having my work rejected.
But I’m equally afraid of being successful. What if I’ve done my homework well enough that my writing is accepted? What are the consequences of success? Will I be ready for it? How will success change me, and how will it change my life?
The road to becoming a successful writer is paved with good intentions. It also has scenic pull-outs that are valid distractions – distractions that enable us to ignore the fear. Distractions that fuel the fear, too.
Family – I haven’t been very successful at putting my family after my writing. With my oldest moved out, and my youngest wanting nothing to do with me (he’s a teenager, what can I say?), I plan to spend more time writing. But I also need to nurture my relationship with my husband. Will my family relationships suffer if I reach my goal of being published?
Exercise – I haven’t been very successful at exercising, either. My day job is a desk job, and although I do a fair amount of getting up and down, sitting all day has definitely contributed to this secretary’s spread! In order to combat the spread, hubby and I often walk in the evenings after dinner. On weekends, we regularly make trips to one of our local state parks and spend the day hiking. It's good for the hips, and photographing nature while I'm there feeds my creative juices.
Appetite – Unfortunately, I have one. Especially for chocolate. Therefore I need my family to make me get out and do things, rather than coming home and sitting all evening. Or, maybe I should invest in a treadmill desk.
Reading – Some of the best adventures a body can have! Escape into another world and live vicariously through those characters. Travel the world, and experience places and situations that you might not have the opportunity for in your daily life.
These topics were part of a recent discussion with a writer friend who ultimately told me I was making excuses and that I need to stop making excuses and just write. Her comments made me think. I need to find balance in my life. I can have every intention of becoming a published author, but if I spend all my time on the scenic pull-outs of life, I’ll never travel that road to publication.
Do you allow your fears to be a distraction? How do you balance life and writing? I'd love to hear your thoughts.