Fear, huh? On the surface I don’t really have any fears as it relates to writing. The fear of not having any good ideas? Statistically I probably will at some point. I’ve had them in the past so, there’s that at least. No one will like what I write? Honestly, I don’t really care. I like what I write and with over 6 billion peeps in the world someone else is bound like it too I guess.
It took me some time to figure out what, if anything, I feared as a writer. I literally had to sit down and think about it for a while. After some time a vague notion started itching in the back corner of my brain. I tried to ignore it. It itched some more and I realized what it was. At first I tried to deny it but since I’ve made a pact with myself to be honest and write honestly, even if it’s hard or brutal. I had to concede and admit, yes I have a fear.
The fear of success.
It sounds weird I know, but it’s real. Deep down I think I’m afraid of what success will really mean-how it will really impact my life-and deep down I don’t know if I want to make those changes. Success is something I should want. I mean why the heck am I killing myself trying become a writer if subconsciously I’m afraid of what my longed-for success would mean?
I’ve learned, thanks to Google, that the fear of success is difficult to spot because it’s not really a fear of succeeding, rather it’s the fear of the ancillary effects of success. For instance, people will see me differently. And by people, I mean family, friends, co-workers etc. I’ll have to adjust my schedule at work, will I be able to? How will I bring in enough money to feed my family if I’m an emerging writer? You get the idea. These are all things which brush the edge of my subconscious before I quickly quell them. Out of sight-out of mind. Things, wanted or otherwise, that come along with my becoming a success as a writer.
So what’s to be done about it? I’m no psychologist but apparently fears which are never faced on a conscious level have a nasty tendency to grow stronger. Gotta love behavioral conditioning. In my day job we call this “task avoidance”. In other words, when we avoid writing because of our hidden fear of success, we are adding fuel to our procrastination fires. Our dumb brains, in an effort to protect us, are causing us to work against our goals. Stupid survival instincts, getting in the way of all our fun.
So, has my public admission magically cured me? Honestly, on some level, I believe it has. I hope it’s helped some of you as well.