What would you write if you knew you could not fail?
I’ve spent the better part of the last two years talking to writers all over the world just like you.
I’ve learned about you. What you want, crave – and what you hate.
Every one of you has a different definition of success. How it looks and feels. How your perfect day unfolds.
But one thing always stays the same: The only thing between you and your writing dream is fear.
So let’s get down and dirty with it, hmmm?
Fear is fucking normal. Yeah, I said it. We will never escape the emotion. Not ever.
And that’s okay.
Some people actually choose to do things that scare them: racecar drivers, public speakers, sky-divers. And some people only face their fears when forced. (Me.)
Either way, being fearless has nothing to do with it.
Fear is with me and you and everyone else every day. Trying something new, pushing yourself can be scary. No one is unafraid all the time.
But we can manage it with our perception.
It’s about desire.
How bad do you want a thing? How much are you willing to risk to accomplish it?
When you’re on your deathbed at 96 years old, do you want to look at your great-grandson and say:
“Yeah, I went sky-diving a couple times. It was badass.”
Or “Yes, I wrote those books. I had a story to tell that the world needed to hear.”
Or even “I wish you could have seen me on the high-wire. I set a record that day.”
Or, if you’re like me, you just want to be able to call your ex-boyfriend and say, “I went into that damn root cellar and killed a wolf spider the size of my fist. So there.”
Understand, no one can completely eliminate risk. Stunt men and adrenaline junkies know this, which is why they do their best to reduce it. They wear every available piece of safety equipment. They double and triple check the racecar. They take classes.
The same goes for public speakers. They know the material so well, the audience won’t be able to come up with a question they can’t answer. They practice endlessly. Speaking in front of people is not scary in the same way as, say, swimming with sharks.
But it’s still very real fear. And it’s not dissimilar to the fear of writing.
In both cases, what we’re actually afraid of is looking silly. (That’s pretty much every human’s most basic fear.) But by practicing, preparing, studying, we reduce that risk. Besides, if we screw up writing, we’re not going to die. So decide.
Do you want to write?
Mitigate the risks as much as you can. Then take action. No one has a choice about fear. We are going to be afraid. But we can decide what to do about it.
This is good news. It means you can stop waiting to be unafraid and start writing.
It means you can feel uncomfortable, know it’s normal and get your words on the page in spite of the fear.
Not sure where to start?
Answer this question: What would you write if you knew you could not fail?
Now off you go. Write now.
P.S. What kind of writer are you? Take the quiz and find out. (And wait ’til you see what you get in your inbox with the results. Holy gorgeous.)