As A Writer, What Do You Fear

I read a great post that asked the question, What makes a good writer?, and it included a great quote.  The quote was “If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” Chances are, you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.

The post was great because it confronted the part about a real artist being “scared to death”.  I would recommend reading this post as I found it interesting.

The reason I am writing is because it got me thinking about what I fear as a writer.  I never feared rejection.  Whenever I submitted something or got back a response it was more nervousness or an anxious feeling, but not fear.  Whenever I got a serious case of writer’s block it was more frustration that confronted me.  Yet there is one thing that I can think of that does give me a feeling that is close to fear.  It is that I will lose the ability to write.

I’m not talking about suddenly forgetting to write, I am talking about not having the time or means.  I have shared before that there was a time after my mother passed where I couldn’t write anymore.  Part of it was due to a lack of desire, mixed with heartache, along with a sprinkling of not having time.  This was, naturally, a dark time in my life, but one of the ways I got through it was by returning to writing, and putting my feelings to paper.

Do I believe there will be a time when I am unable to write? It is possible.  My wife & I are expecting a child and I’m aware that they tend to take up a lot of free time 🙂  I know that there are probably more dark times in my future.  Yet the thing that drives the fear away is that I feel like writing is a part of me.  Not necessarily an appendage as those can be amputated, more like having a dry sense of humor.  Try as you might & despite how many people dislike it, it exists none-the-less.  When I was nearly lost in darkness writing was the light that helped me find my way.  It has been a part of my life since the 2nd grade and no matter how far I have come since those days it has been able to keep up.

So I guess what I am saying is that I do fear that I may lose the ability to write, just as anyone who cares strongly about something fears they may one day lose it.  That fear is confirmation that it means something to me.  Through all the things I have lost in life the desire to write has always been by my side, so I believe that one way or the other it will be with me until I lay my head down for the last time.

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17 Comments

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17 responses to “As A Writer, What Do You Fear

  1. Great post! 🙂 I didn’t believe I was a writer until someone actually called me one. That was four years ago and I’m still trying to convince myself. Lol.

  2. That’s a fear I understand a lot. I want to make writing my livelihood, but at the same time I know that I have to build up to that, that I will almost definitely have to work at other jobs and other things which can interfere and take up precious writing time. I’m also afraid that I’ll never get to finish all my ideas. Which is silly because I’m sure I’ll die with new ideas still fresh in my mind. But I already have so many floating through my head, and I’d hate to go without at least getting them all out on paper. Which just make my fear of not having enough time to write worse…. Anyhow, I think that it’s a common fear, and it’s nice to know others share it.

    • I don’t ever see myself being able to write full time & to be honest I don’t know if I’d want to. I am very much a “home-body” and if I didn’t have to leave to go to work the majority of my time would be in my own little corner of the world. While it sounds great I believe a lot of the ideas I have, for stories & characters, come from the experiences I have when I’m out & about in the world

      • I agree totally. I’m a bit of a homebody too. When I was doing the 8 to 5 work-day grind, I had loads of writing fodder. But for the past 5 years I’ve been telecommuting (working from home) full-time, and the inspiration for story ideas, characters, scenes have dropped dramatically. I do hope to write full-time some day, but if/when that day comes, I’ll need to get out more often and find inspiration in other ways.

  3. I fear mediocrity.
    I don’t fear rejection, mistakes, or even a lack of time. I fear despite pouring my soul and heart into words, they will be unmovable. Despite spending countless hours revising and editing I will never take the prose into the golden zone. Despite and regardless of how confident I feel in my work, I will just be mediocre, barely worth noting.

    • I can definitely understand this fear. I constantly work to be a better writer and storyteller but what if my best is just so-so? I have read books where the prose seems to envelope me and transport my into the writer’s world with very little effort. At the same time I can say that I have read other books that gave me confidence that I can not only accomplish my goal but be good at it. 🙂

  4. Meh, do like a lot of these Bloggers do, when you have your Child, Write about the experience. Talk about endless material.

    • I already jump into my life experiences when I am running out of things to write about. Blogging doesn’t take up a lot of time to me b/c I can just jump on, talk about a whole lot of nothing, then jump off. Working on an actually novel takes up a lot of my time.

  5. Marcie Hill

    My fear is a writer is that my work will not be read. However, I have started doing my guest blog posts and freelance submissions. Even if the magazines do not accept my work, at least an editor has read it and have get an idea of my writing style and interests.

  6. I’ve just recently felt comfortable calling myself a writer because now I write every day and publish something (a blog post) nearly every day. I write because I hope to touch people’s lives in some positive way: make them laugh, think, feel through my words and the often zany way I put them together. I learn something about myself and life along the way, too.

    Writing is such hard work, but such a gift. I consider all of us writers fortunate. And I feel grateful to have found a community of talented writers fromall walks of life.

  7. ellielawson

    Yes… mediocrity. I fear it above all else in relation to writing. I have no doubt I could make a living writing, or any pursuit for that matter had I enough get up and go. But I don’t want to be the object of any one person’s cringe. I would much rather protect myself under the veil of never knowing and retain as much enjoyment as I can that way. Almost like a mutual crush that never has a chance to be snuffed out.

  8. I had a similar inability to write after 9/11 for more than one reason. But that block eventually passed. And yes, periods of difficulty and a busy schedule, impede on my writing time, but I began giving myself weekly goals, so I would have to write consistently. As long as we have passion and drive, I believe true writers can make it happen.
    Another writer told me a story the other day, about a female writer who was in a terrible accident. She lost one hand and four fingers on her other hand. Game over, right? Nope, she eventually gets up the nerve to write again and types this kick-ass short story using one finger!!! I now find it a little harder to complain about my obstacles.
    Good luck with your writing and your future child. Thanks for stopping by my writers group’s blog, The Method Writers! I also have a personal blog if you ever wish to visit: http://www.NothingLikeWeImagined.com.

  9. “The fear is confirmation that it means something to me.” Excellent.
    PS: A baby will rock your world in ways you never imagined. Congrats!

  10. I went through a period where I wasn’t even writing in my journal. I realized that I had lost my voice and in losing that, I felt as though I had lost myself. I still haven’t published beyone my little blog, and have never been paid for anything, but in my heart and soul, I’m a writer. Your post expressed that beautifully, thank you.

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