The Rival Within You
Finishing a book might be one of the best feelings in existence for a writer. When I wrote those last words of my book, I felt so fulfilled and accomplished. “I finally achieved something,” I thought.
But after the book was finished, I couldn’t rest, for I knew I had to start a new one.
Coming up with a good idea and sitting down to write it is not easy. I struggled for months with this. I constantly told myself that my idea wasn’t good enough and the pages I had already written were too flawed to be enjoyed by any reader.
This led me to freeze and not write at all. I told myself, “Maybe I don’t want this after all,” and for a long time, I allowed that thought to consume my mind.
But I have realized that it’s not about my talents or skills not being enough. It’s all about fear.
We writers are taking risks all the time. When we start a book, we take a risk. We are committing ourselves to an idea for months, even years, not even knowing if the book we’re writing will turn out successful, once published.
It takes guts, dedication, and confidence to achieve this kind of task, yet it’s the only way to move forward in your writing career.
I think we all know this by default. We know this from experience. We’ve written books before. We’ve reached that ending and the publishing process before, so why is it so hard to do it all again?
As I said, it’s fear. Fear of failure that lies within every creative person on the planet.
I’ve recently started working on an outline for my new book and it has been absolute warzone in my head. I constantly get the feeling of my idea being too cliche, or just terrible in every way.
I fear that I’ll fail and prove that I’m not a good writer after all. I fear that I will lose my confidence and my artistic voice.
All of this is completely natural.
Fear will be present in our creative lives until we die. It will never go away, but there are things we can do to release ourselves from its control.
The first thing you can do when feeling fear is to remind yourself of your past achievements. You’ve written something before. You’ve finished something before and you’ve gotten over the challenge.
This can give you that morale boost you need to get your book started and minimize the power fear holds in your life.
There’s also a thing I learned from The War of Art.
According to the author, fear leads us to our true calling, meaning that if you fear to start your next book more than the devil himself, you can be sure that writing is for you.
This led me to freeze and not write at all. I told myself, “Maybe I don’t want this after all,”
This idea turned my thoughts around. I suddenly realized that this thing I feared to do was really the thing I loved the most. Because I care about writing so much, of course, I’m afraid to screw things up. And again, it just means I’m attached and committed into writing, which is a good thing.
To conclude, fear comes with every new project you start. It’s all about finding the way to use the fear to your advantage and minimize its harmful effects.
As long as you continue to write and prove your fears wrong, you will achieve your dreams and feel fulfilled.
Fear can be your greatest ally or your greatest rival. It’s all about your own perspective.
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