on Live Write Thrive:
Years ago I surveyed my mailing list and got back about 500 responses. My main question I posed was this: “What is your most pressing problem when it comes to your writing?” Hands down, the most prevalent response was the difficulty in finishing a project.
There are a lot of reasons we don’t get the writing done, and often fear is at the center. Fears can be real, valid, and substantial. They can also be illusive—ones we fabricate or blow out of proportion because we aren’t ready or willing to deal with the fears.
I like to face my fear by asking myself: “What’s the worst that could happen?” When it comes to finishing a book and considering publishing it or sending queries to agents, writers often fear rejection. What if every agent rejects your manuscript? What if you self-publish and readers hate your book and you get all one-star reviews? What if no one buys your book?
These are valid fears. But they’re not life-threatening. If these things happen, we aren’t going to die. Our career isn’t down for the count.
It’s always easier to give in to the fear and avoid risk. And one of the ways we do this is via self-sabotaging.