We’re going to have to let truth scream louder to our souls than the lies that have infected us. (Beth Moore)
I’m forced to face my fears and weaknesses in many areas of my life, particularly my writing life.
Resistance. What fears haunt you as a writer? I have a long list of my own. Writing for publication demands strength and stamina! We should expect to face resistance, right? Each new project, goal, or idea, may trigger memories of intimidation, shame, rejection, failure, regret, or setback. Or we may even fear the price of our success.
Intimidation. Fearful to let anyone see your first (second or third) drafts? Even the best writers produce shoddy first drafts. Anne Lamott offers an entire chapter on this topic in her outstanding instructional book on writing and life, Bird by Bird.
That’s why we RE-write. And that’s why I recommend finding a critique group or someone who can (and will) edit your work. I’m grateful for my writing friends who are honest enough to wield their red pens and hack on my stuff.
My husband Dan serves as my Editor-in-chief, although most of writers do not advise asking a spouse to edit. But I’ll reserve that debate for another post. Although, I welcome your opinion on that subject in the comments space below.
Shame? Perfectionism and the fear of judgment and criticism can stifle our writing life. Our inner critic may be harder on our work than any reader or editor. “Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough” (Dr. Brené Brown).
Rejection? Wow! This can be a monumental hurdle for writers! But many famous authors were rejected before succeeding, like C.S. Lewis and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
If you’re a Christian writer, here are a few encouraging words from Beth Moore, “The next time you feel rejection’s sting, remember God’s words to Samuel: ‘It is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me’” (1 Sam. 8:7).
Failure? Many writers never pursue writing for publication for fear of failure. But I agree successful author and blogger Jeff Goins: “The cost of not pursuing a dream is greater than the cost of failure.”
Regret? Our mistakes can yield valuable lessons. But we don’t want to focus so much on our missed opportunities or disappointments that we lose sight of hope and dreams for our future.
… I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead … (Phil. 3:13 NIV).
Success? Do you fear having high hopes? Afraid of taking risks? Or maybe you’re counting the cost of success, and you don’t think you have what it takes. Could your fear be the stumbling block that’s keeping your from moving forward?
Setbacks? How do you endure setbacks in your writing life? I’ve learned a few survival tips on the walking trail and on my writing journey. But as I face my fears and take one step at a time by faith, I’m able to go the distance.
And now, … one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received … Then the God of peace will be with you. (Phil. 4:8-9 NLT)
What challenges have you faced and what fears have you overcome as a writer?