I have a lot of fears. Mostly I try to not let them affect me or, worse, break me, but I don’t always win. Sometimes I admit defeat for a day or two and then have enough strength to regroup and kick Fear’s ass again.
Currently I’m in a constant battle with the Big Cheese of fears: the Fear of Failure. Skirmishes happen almost on a daily basis and sometimes I imagine that our battlefield is littered with little pieces and shreds of us. Unfortunately, at the moment, those pieces mostly belong (or belonged) to me. It’s the main reason that I’m still not finished editing the first half of my book: I am afraid that the more I read the more I will come to realize that this has been, and always was, an absolute waste of time because I suck at it.
While sitting here trying to think of clever ways to
procrastinate distract myself, I read through a post on Magical Words that I had missed dealing with the question of when you should throw in the towel. David B Coe writes a post that I find both very uplifting and very disheartening at the same time. The point is, he says, that while the publishing industry is hard and you WILL have to face pain and disappointment (probably more often than facing triumph), as long as you feel that pain you should keep trucking. The pain means that you still have passion for the subject of writing. It’s when you grow ambivalent that you should consider giving up and trying something that isn’t writing.
This makes absolute sense to me, and it’s comforting in a sense to know that other writers – successful and professional ones at that – still feel that way when a project gets rejected. However, it frightens me as well. Am I equipped to enter into this business? Does pure passion and desire to be an author cut it? Because, to be honest, I can’t say for sure whether I would be able to endure 25 rejections for every one acceptance. Does that mean I have to give up on the dream? Does that mean I have to give Fear an ultimate victory here?
I wish I could answer those questions. Maybe one of you will be able to. If so, please do tell me! In the meantime I suppose I should get back to work.