Sometimes you have to just bite the bullet and tackle your fears. Take it on, bring on the battle, jump into the struggle, and hope you make it through.
One thing I see in a lot of writers—more in some who have made some headway but still haven’t been published yet rather than beginners—is that they freeze. They think it’s writers block a lot of the times, when in actuality, it’s fear.
What are they afraid of? I believe, it’s a double-edged fear. Failure and success—the thoughts can freeze the best of people. If you actually finish a story or a book and submit it,well, you might potentially fail then. You might get (gasp) rejected!
Well, yes. And that’s WILL happen at some point, if you submit. If, by some absolute miracle, you get accepted from the first publisher you submit to, we’ll, you’ll be rejected by some reader down the line. Just deal with it. This business is fraught with rejection.I had six hundred rejection slips accrued before I received my first book contract. Fun? Not so much. Hard on the ego? Yeah. But if you want something bad enough, you believe that you CAN achieve your goal and you work through the fear that you’ll fail. You feel it, acknowledge it, then shove its ass in the can and decide, nope, you aren’t going to let it stop you. Nobody can do it for you. Nobody can give you enough validation to keep you going but yourself. You have to be your own best cheerleader because, even though friends and family might (and I do mean ‘might’) support your dreams, your work will never matter to anybody else quite as much as it does to you.
And then there’s the other side of the coin: fear of success. If you succeed—then you have something to lose. Then you have expectations thrust on you. Then the nerves begin whispering in your head, “What if the first book was a fluke?” “What if I can’t do it again?” “What if the magic goes away and my well runs dry?”
Again…you have to work through that fear, because trust me—my thirtieth published book is coming out in July—that’s #30, people, and I still worry. What if my inspiration runs dry?What if people suddenly decide they hate my work and everything goes away? And that fear can paralyze you. The best cure for it? Get busy and finish the book you’re working on. In between books? Start the next one. Get back to the page.
Because you see, the best cure for creative blockage is the act of creation. Recharging in necessary, but more often than not, the best cure is to just throw yourself into the next project and let it swallow you whole. Let the words buoy you up. Let the ideas dance in your head. Rejoice in the act—because the journey doesn’t really have an end.Every time a book comes out, I celebrate, but I’m already working on the next project because the fires of creation cannot sit still for long. Nurture them,encourage them, feed them, and give into them. If you don’t love the journey and the process of writing, you better get off the path and do something else. Because this profession? Not so much for the weak of spirit, or those who want to ‘have written’ but don’t want to do the actual work. No, in the end, the words and the story—they are what matters. And if you want to be a career writer…well…you have to write. And keep on writing.
So, sit your butt down in the chair, put the fingers on the keys, and get to work. The words are there.You just have to get out of your own way in order to let them in.