Dealing with Fear

We writers face fear all the time. Sometimes, we’re successful at overcoming it, and sometimes not. Most of the time it just lurks in the black, cob-webbed recesses of our minds.

It takes courage to write, but that doesn’t mean we’re not afraid.

What are we afraid of? The list is almost endless. We’re afraid of what people will think of us. We wonder if people will laugh at us, reject us, or worse yet, just plain ignore us.

We wonder if we’ll ever be read. We wonder if all the effort is really worth it for all of the suffering it brings us. We wonder if we will ever be successful. Will we ever make any money? Will anyone ever love our characters and stories? Will anyone ever remember us after we’re gone? Will they remember our writing?

Whenever you pick up someone else’s book and you’re interested in how they achieved getting published, there’s always that little spider-legged, fanged, ugly little monster, hiding in some dingy, dark little cave that scuttles out to lament, “Who loves me?” “Why can’t I be that successful?” “Why aren’t I worthy?”

There are thousands of good writers, published writers, that the world has forgotten.

Has anyone reading this blog ever heard of Phillip Francis Nolan? He was a science fiction writer who wrote two novelas about an engineer trapped in a cave-in who losses consciousness because of a rare mixture of gases and wakes up five hundred years into the future, where humanity lives in caves or underground, while humanoid aliens roam the Earth, slaughtering humanity. His hero’s name was Anthony Rogers, later known as “Buck Rogers” in the comic strip inspired by Nolan’s work (and which Nolan wrote).

There are books I read as a young man who’s titles I cannot remember anymore and who’s authors no seems to know about anymore. These were good writers who wrote good stories, entertaining stories. And where are they now? They’re lost in the past. The authors are dead and their stories forgotten.

That’s the fear that writers face all the time. Will what I write (and I don’t just mean “me” but every writer out there) be remembered?

And it’s so hard to get published. For every success, there are hundreds of failures. And those failures can be by the same writers who finally succeeded.

But for every successful writer, there are a thousand failures. And for every remembered writer, there might be ten thousand that have been forgotten.

There are thousands of good writers out there, most of them hard-working professionals, who never succeed. So why did they keep trying? Well, they all have hope.

Hope is one of the strongest weapons against fear. Love is the strongest weapon of all against fear. Love of writing leads to hope. And what supports most writers the best are loving family members and loving friends, and their encouragements.

However, if not everyone loves you, there’s still hope.

Hope carries me on.

See you out there.

One thought on “Dealing with Fear

  1. Wow! One of the other blogs I follows was talking about Flash Gordon. Now here you (a few minutes later in my subjective time) mentioning Buck Rogers! As for fear, I don’t really fear writing. But I do struggle meeting my own quality expectations, by which I mean writing something that I actually enjoy when I read back. Doesn’t stop me though. 🙂 Thanks for the post.


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