Friday, October 31, 2014
Why it’s Okay to be Afraid of Failure or Success by Rachel Brooks
With Halloween this week, “being afraid” is a theme that’s at the front of my mind. While creepy movies, haunted houses, and more can certainly scare us, this feeling makes me think about writers’ fears. Two big ones are being afraid of failure, and on the flip side, success.
1) It’s okay to be afraid of failure, so long as you don’t let it prevent you from trying.
Every person (and not only writers) worries they won’t have what it takes. What if I’m not good enough? What if I haven’t prepared, researched, and practiced to be at the level I need to make it?
It’s normal to feel this way, but if you never try, then the fear has become more than a feeling—it takes control. YOU should hold the reins.
An important point to remember is that everyone’s definition of “good enough” is different. Your personal journey is unique, as is your success. Only you can determine if you have “failed,” and if you do, then next time you’ll be better equipped to succeed.
2) It’s okay to be afraid of success, so long as you don’t let it prevent you from trying.
This is certainly a valid fear as well. Writers can become overwhelmed by getting an agent, signing a book contract, suddenly feeling like they have readers and followers who are counting on them. What if my sequel disappoints fans? What if other writers turn to me for advice?
Nobody is perfect, and nobody expects you to be (or they shouldn’t!). Being afraid of success is understandable—it can be daunting to take big leaps, stepping out of comfort zones and familiar territory.
But others have juggled success in their careers, and so can you—whether introvert, extrovert, or somewhere in between. You’ll find your own personal balance of how to handle the transition from unpublished to published, unagented to agented, few followers to many. Whatever you find “scary” or “successful,” there’s a way to manage it.
Thankfully the writing community is a supportive one, and there is someone that’s been in your shoes too. Whether worrying about failure, success, or both, they are somewhat arbitrary terms that should not define your life, or your writing.