Fear and the New Writer

Fear is a dichotomous entity; it grips my resolve and simultaneously propels me in the right direction. As a “new” woman writer, fear of being judged, being boring, or of creating meaningless discourse is what holds me back from really putting myself out there.

I put “new” in quotation marks because I have successfully engaged in multiple forms of writing my entire life, but only now am I beginning to put effort into introducing my writing to an audience and to hopefully turning writing into a full-time career.  

Combatting my self-doubt is a conscious effort that involves being present and mindful of my fear. Fear can hold a special place in the drive toward success; It gives me the determination to produce meaningful content, to seek the right audience and to focus my tenacity in the right direction. I am beginning to learn to use my fear as a catalyst to finding success and not letting it drown me in negative inner dialogue or writing apathy. Grappling with fear and self-doubt requires me to open up to its potential and appreciate it for what it’s worth, without letting it control me. I do my best not to become enveloped in my fear but to be mindful of it; a watcher of my own diffidence. In this way I can analyze its source and question its outcome; inevitably coming to the realization that what I should fear most is not writing, not going public with my words.

My first step in battling this inner turmoil is to join with a group of writers like myself. As a mom to a two year old, fear isn’t the only thing holding me back, it’s lack of time. I’ve begun replacing the phrase, “I don’t have time for (insert any activity here)”, with “(said activity) isn’t a priority” in all areas of my life; with health, work, family, creativity, etc. In essence, that means I am saying that when I don’t have time to write, I am saying that “writing is not a priority”. Well, writing is a priority. And fear can be a heavy beast, but when we harness it and direct it in a positive direction, we become unstoppable.