I think every writer has had a moment, or a million, in which the fear of something has consumed almost everything else. Maybe it has even prevented that writer from moving forward, querying that project, emailing that agent, etc.
Personally, I battle with fear on an almost daily basis in one form or another:
- What if I can't figure out these revisions?
- What if no one follows my new blog?
- What if I NEVER find an agent/editor/publisher in fiction?
- What if, what if, what if.
The fear of failure (and success, actually) can literally choke the air from my lungs at times, throwing me into a place so dark, and so scary I can't think straight.
But here's the thing...
Maybe that isn't all bad, you know? Maybe that fear...that dark place has a purpose too.
Fear, in it's purest form, alerts me to danger. It tells me when I need to pay more attention, or when I'm encountering something uncomfortable.
And, most importantly, it's fear that keeps me from complacency by forcing me to act in some way - to fight or flight. Something.
It is only when I obsess on that fear, or resist action of some form, or allow myself to get stuck in the darkness that I have a problem.
It is only when I forget that fear has a purpose too that it prevents me from moving forward.
So, the next time fear grips you by the throat and chokes the air from your lungs, be still and try to hear what your fear is really telling you - what action you need to take, or why you are uncomfortable. Submit, for a moment, instead of resisting. And then move forward. You may be surprised what you find.
How do you deal with fear?
(Oh, and about that dark place - that's a source of my best stories!)