I am going to admit something that I have never admitted before. To anyone. Not even myself really.
I am scared. Don’t mistake me – - I am no Doomsday Prepper. I don’t have a bomb shelter and I don’t keep an emergency supply of food, water, medicines and basic necessities that will keep me and my neighborhood going for two years should Armageddon come. I am so lax in this regard, if there is a natural disaster we’ll starve before lunch.
But I am scared of failure. There, I said it. I hate admitting it. I will freely admit my fear of snakes. Hate them. See no purpose for their being in the world, at least as long as I’m in it. I’m afraid of getting sick in public. Yes, I am that shallow. I cannot stand the thought of anyone seeing me sick. And since last summer, I apparently also have an issue with heights. Has this happened to anyone else? I’ve certainly never been a daredevil but I’ve never had an issue with heights before and last summer I got on a ferris wheel and nearly had an anxiety attack.
But maybe failure – - and even success – - is the most frightening fear to have. I can basically stay away from snakes. I can keep away from heights if I have to. I’m not a sickly person (knock wood) so I’m generally okay with the “sick in front of others” thing. But failure . . . don’t we have to fail sometimes in order to succeed? And if we fear success, aren’t we dooming ourselves for failure?
Sometimes I think this fear affects my writing and holds me back. What if I don’t finish my book? What if I do? What if no one reads my book? What if everyone does? What if I’m a failure as an author? What if I’m a success?
Do these thoughts go through your mind? I’m really curious to know. I think every writer, published or unpublished, worries about how their work will be perceived. It’s natural. Maybe successful and unsuccessful need to be redefined. Is it about being a published author that motivates you, or just finishing your book? What do you deem “successful”? (If you think money, you might better rethink your goals). And do you ever fear that success?