I’m super happy to announce that I received ANOTHER full manuscript request over the weekend. I sent it off yesterday, so please wish me luck!
Today is also a big day, not only because it’s Valentine’s Day but also because today is the day that the winner of the Harlequin So You Think You Can Write ontest will be notified. I’m not afraid to admit that I feel a few butterflies flapping against my ribs, but I don’t really have high hopes. I actually have my fingers crossed for my CP, Aimee, who I think might have a shot. Thinking about the contest, and also about sending my manuscript off with a hope and a prayer, has made me think about how writing and fear go hand in hand. I’ve decided to re-post my article about the necessity of courage in the field of writing. Enjoy!
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.
I am not afraid to admit that I’m scared of a lot of things, one of which is failure. I am afraid to fail. Sometimes, I am even afraid to try new things, for fear of looking stupid. After I posted yesterday, committing to do NaNoWriMo, I was instantly assaulted with fear. What if I don’t finish, and I look stupid in front of everyone?
For me, there have been quite a few things to be scared of in regards to writing fiction. When I first started writing, I was scared that what I wrote would be crap. When I started submitting to agents, I was scared I would get rejected. When I entered the New Voices contest, I was scared that someone would trash my work. Now I’m scared that I’ll fail at NaNoWriMo.
Here’s the thing: I’ve done all these things, despite being scared, and you know what? In a lot of cases, the worst thing that could happen, did. I did get rejected by agents. Someone DID give me a scathing review in New Voices, and when I started writing, my writing WAS crappy. But I did it. Sometimes I got hurt, but I also learned something every single time. My writing is better, and I’m a stronger person. Those are some pretty good reasons to be courageous.
At the end of the day, if you give into your fear, you’re still a failure, even if you are the only one who knows it. And on top of that, you’ll probably have regrets that you’ll have to live with for the rest of your life. You might as well do what you’re afraid of. When you’re one hundred years old, you’re not going to look back and say, “Gee, I wish I hadn’t entered that contest and gotten bad-mouthed.” But you are likely to look back and say, “Gosh, I wish I hadn’t been afraid to be a writer.”