Apr 06

Have No Fear

“Don’t be afraid to fail, be afraid not to try.” Randy Rubin

How many times have you thought about writing a story, poem, essay, or memoir and failed to even try. How many times have you questioned your desire to write and thought, “What’s the use? No one will want to read my work.”

Do you want to write the great American novel or at least a manuscript that you want published? Did you start writing the murder mystery that has kept you intrigued for a couple of years or the steamy romance that makes you need a cold shower? Did you finish your story including the revisions, and then decide that it wasn’t good enough? And then did you put your project away without sending it to an agent? Why? Afraid of failure? If you don’t try, you’ve already failed.

You must learn to ignore those negative thoughts filling your head. Also avoid the naysayers in your life who think your writing is a hobby. Listen to honest critics, not cloying friends and relatives who think everything you write is perfect. Connect with people who can give you helpful feedback on your work. Listen to the suggestions of your critique group, but remember to stay true to your own voice.

If you really want to be a writer, understand that sometimes you may fail to find an agent, fail to sell your work, or fail to win the writing contest. Continue to write your stories because you will improve with practice. But if you do not try, you have failed yourself.

14 comments

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    • Claire Murray on April 23, 2014 at 3:49 pm
    • Reply

    Very encouraging to read your piece.

      • Book Lover on June 15, 2014 at 4:24 pm
      • Reply

      Thank you. That is exactly what I want to do. I didn’t get much encouragement when I was young because writing wasn’t considered a good career choice.

    • Victoria Wright on April 22, 2014 at 5:15 pm
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    One of our first study group books called them “monkey voices.” John can probably tell you which author we were studying at the time.

      • Book Lover on June 15, 2014 at 4:22 pm
      • Reply

      We can’t let the “monkey voices” win the creative writing wars.

  1. I can’t count the number of times I was in a social situation and people asked me when I started out, “Oh, what do you write?” I was journaling ideas and thoughts and daily experiences, and when I told them that, they smiled and turned to better conversations. If I believed them, I was not a “writer,” but I am.

      • Victoria Wright on April 22, 2014 at 5:13 pm
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      Yes! Let’s see their on-line journals.

    • dwynter on April 16, 2014 at 1:54 pm
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    Wish it was as easy to do as say.

      • Book Lover on June 15, 2014 at 4:21 pm
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      I agree. But don’t give up.

    • Kelly Bixby on April 13, 2014 at 10:35 pm
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    I really appreciate your post and may need to re-read it from time to time! Thanks for the encouragement.

      • Book Lover on June 15, 2014 at 4:20 pm
      • Reply

      Kelly, I’ve achieved my goal with this post when I know that I’ve encouraged someone. Thanks for the comment.

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more. So much of writing is getting past the doubts in your own head.

    i absolutely love the blog!

    Isa

      • Book Lover on June 15, 2014 at 4:17 pm
      • Reply

      Thank you so much. I’ve read your blog and enjoyed it. Keep up the good work.

    • Book Lover on April 6, 2014 at 6:20 pm
    • Reply

    Yibbity, thank you so much for your comment.

    • Yibbity on April 6, 2014 at 1:01 pm
    • Reply

    Enjoyed what you had to say here.

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