Fear of success is rampant amongst writers, a group famous for derailing their own goals and wishes in a morbid cloud of creative angst. Step away from the hemlock, people! Don’t let that niggling little inner editor keep you from writing that book, article, or essay and by all means, don’t let it keep you from publishing!
Since the first step to any cure is to admit you have a problem, I challenge you to take a good, hard look at your attitude toward your writing. Do see any of the following characteristics in the way you approach your career as a wordsmith?
- You don’t tell others about your writing accomplishments.
- You procrastinate working on writing projects, especially ones that could lead to recognition.
- You adopt a “why bother?” mentality when it comes to writing query letters, seeking agents, finishing manuscripts, or completing other tasks that will further your career.
- You refuse to believe your writing is worthy, even if you have beta readers telling you it is!
- You compromise your writing time or spending money advancing your writing career to avoid conflict within your family.
- You keep up a negative mental chatter about your inability to achieve your writing goals so much that you convince yourself to quit working on writing.
- Even when you have some success as a writer (a published article or story, for example) you feel like it’s a “one-off” event. Eventually you’ll fail, and, having spent time and money on your failed writing career, you’ll end up in a worse place than where you started.
If you answered “yes” to two or more, you may have a bona fide fear of success as it pertains to your writing. Don’t freak out — instead, learn to redirect your fear into power. Here’s how:
Fear of Success Power Training
- Get rid of overwhelm. Take your writing one step at a time so you can be in PFM©(Perpetual Forward Motion). If you need a refresher course on this, check out this post.
- Conquer fear of success with the “do it first, ask questions later” philosophy. In a nutshell, keep your eyes on the prize and don’t worry about the details. When you find yourself thinking about if/then scenarios, refocus yourself ONLY on your task: finishing that story, nailing that query letter, or completing that rough draft.
- Keep a success journal and write every single thing you are successful doing in your writing career. Every. Single. Thing. With a list like this, you won’t be able to fool yourself into “why bother?” thinking. Your list might include things like:
- Finished two query letters.
- Worked up a new idea for a novella.
- Researched article ideas for a new online consumer magazine I want to query.
- Posted writing-related stuff on Twitter.
- Worked on my author bio.
Once you give yourself enough proof of your ability to get things done, your fear of success will be relegated to a small, dark cubby at the very back your inner editor’s desk. So add these simple tools to your daily routine and get your writing career off to a fresh, new, fabulous start.
See you on the next page!