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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fear Of Success

I am in the final stages of finishing my Second Novel, "No Rules Of Engagement."  I am also on vacation so I am not pushing terribly hard to wrap things up, trying to stay relaxed and get recharged, as next week it will be back to the day job pushing rubber (Tire Wholesaler), and writer by night.  Plus I don't plan on publishing this until September 11.

It dawned on me as I was re reading Amazon's publishing requirements, and Smashwords Style Guide again, I read them both in early January before publishing Whisper, that I was having this mix of emotions again.

On the one hand I am so excited about releasing my second book and having two books out there in the Virtual Book Store of the World.  On the other hand I have this fear!

It isn't a fear of not being good enough, Whisper was crap in my humble opinion and No Rules Of Engagement is miles ahead of my first book but still a long ways from where I want to be as a writer.  My Fear is of success!!  Which I have read about, but honestly I don't understand it.

I keep searching my soul for the root of this fear.
Is it that I don't feel I deserve to be successful?
I don't think I am good enough? 
Am I afraid I will catch the attention of an Agent or Traditional Publisher and have to make decisions I don't feel I am ready to make?
If I was successful am I afraid of quitting my day job and staying home to have to rely on writing to provide for my families future income?

I haven't figured out what the source of the fear is exactly.  It is a fear of succeeding for some reason.  It doesn't bother me enough to enlist the help of a shrink.  It won't stop me from publishing my second book.  I am not afraid of writing, I love that part of this more than anything.  The creative part where I take an outline and flesh it out and turn it into chapters of problems, tension, characters having to reveal themselves through their choices in the made up settings I throw them into.   I live for those hours of creative endeavor.  Knock on wood I have never experienced writers block yet, and pray I never do.

I do routinely write myself into corners but those are the best and creative plot twists I have been able to come up with.  I'll walk away and go do chores and let my mind crank on possible solutions to problem and find a way out of it that generally works all the way around.  I have never once had to back up out of the corner and go a new direction.  I relish it when I realize I've boxed my self in again.  It seems more closely related to real life when you have a multitude of problems and seemingly no way out.  I think people deal with those situations on a daily basis.  So for my characters to find themselves in potentially worse situations may make readers enjoy, empathize with them and be glad it is the character and not them.


Dennis M. Lowery said...

Hi Thomas, I got to your blog from a post by Nicole Pyles who I spotted as a Google+ Circle suggestion. Following the trail so to speak. The fear you speak of is real and many people that are "going for it" -- working at something they love and want to succeed at -- experience this fear. I have when I was a younger man. Here's something I posted that may resonate with you. It's from Nelson Mandela:

JoAnn Murphey said...

Thomas, Is it fear of success? or fear of inadequacy?

You have to understand they are mutually exclusive terms. On one hand you fear attracting a standard publisher or agent...this is not necessarily a bad thing except enforced deadlines.

There is nothing wrong with supporting your family. Fewer than 10% of all published authors give up their day jobs. If they do it's because they are millionaires or have other avenues of income.

Having young children will put this fear in you (among other things children do). I believe this is your biggest worry.

Also this past week of "vacation" you mentioned not having time to write like you did when you were working. It's a different reality when you work at home full-time. It takes discipline, juggling schedules, and assorted other things. If you did become a full time author, you would need to set a writing schedule AS YOUR job.

At this point in your writing career, don't borrow trouble.

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