You come in many different forms and in many different places. You come as phobias and as thoughts. I know that when I have completely irrational—or rational—fears about things, I go to my faith and all the Bible verses I memorized about not being afraid, and that helps me. I know that there are many other ways that other people have of dealing with you.
But today, specifically, I'm going to talk about what happens when you try to wheedle into writing. I can't speak for every writer, but I know that a great majority of writers go experience periods where you wind through minds and hearts and make them question.
What if I can't write this?
What if my book isn't good enough?
What if most people hate it?
What if it's too boring?
What if it doesn't flow?
For me, everything seems to have increased because I'm published now, and in a way, this raises the bar. This adds a new aspect of you. Shouldn't everything I write be publishable?
What if I write this story and it's not publishable?
I'd go a step further and say that this branch of you, Fear, can expand to all sorts of arts, projects, and dreams. Is it overall a fear of failure that haunts people in this way? Sounds like it to me. It sure feels like it to me sometimes—those times when doubt creeps in, when I'm not sure it's good enough.
Here's the thing, though. It's okay to fail. It's okay if the first words aren't perfect, if the story isn't perfect. I learn through failure. I grow through failure. I fix what needs to be fixed, I have people who will help me—people who will be honest with me so that I can improve.
If I feel like I can't write something because I'm floundering, I will talk to my friends who tell me, "You can do this. Commit." If it's not good enough, I can try to make it better. If most people hate it, maybe it won't be published, but it was worth the journey. Each story is worth it, because I learn, I grow, I find and explore characters I might not have otherwise.
I will take criticism and learn from it. I will remember the joy that the words and characters and new worlds bring me—even if they also bring frustration at times. There's a balance of having confidence in what I write and having humility to know there is always room for improvement and growth.
I will write for many, many reasons, but I won't give up because of you. I can't let you worm into me and immobilize me because of what ifs.
Not being dragged down by you,