Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fears and Failures

On literary agent Nathan Bransford's blog, he says,

"Writers are by nature intense creatures. I really believe people who are creatively inclined tend to experience life, well, more intensely than other humans.

Combine that with trying to break into or stay afloat in a tough publishing business, and the writerly pursuit is not without its fears and anxieties."

He then goes on to ask what his readers' greatest fears are as writers. As I thought about fears and writing, I pondered a few lines I read yesterday in (oddly enough) Gene Edward Veith, Jr.'s The Spirituality of the Cross. Yes, it's a theology book. Bear with me. Veith says,

"Another ploy of the devil is to pry the person out of his or her calling. ... Thus, there may be the temptation to quit: to get a divorce, to leave one's children, to quit one's job, to give up writing or making music or whatever talents one has. ... Bearing the cross in vocation often involves the sense that one's vocation is worthless or futile." (page 112, emphasis added).
I know I've experienced my fair share of fear as a writer...fear that I won't be able to capture the thought or plot I have in my head, fear I'll never get published and fear no one will like what I've written even if I am published, to name three. Fear is strong, and often paralyzing. Think about what Veith said in relation to that, though.

True, some people try to write who probably have no vocation (calling) to it, but let's assume you do. Is there something you should be saying as a writer that will go unsaid if you submit to your fear and never get it out there? How miserable will you be if you leave your vocation as a writer and try to live as something else?

So, here's my modified version of Bransford's question: What are your biggest fears in writing, and what are they keeping you from accomplishing in your life today?

No comments: