Fear has many weapons in its arsenal. It makes your heart pound, your palms sweat, your skin prickle. It makes you shiver, feel nauseous, become lightheaded. It shortens your breath, curdles your stomach, disrupts your sleep, scatters your thoughts…
But the most dangerous weapon at fear’s disposal? Its ability to make you doubt yourself and tempt you to give up…
The good news: writers are fighting back against fear. How? By exposing fear’s nasty tricks and demonstrating how they, personally, have defeated it.
Veronica Roth has outed her fear demons on her blog, revealing she suffers with anxiety about whether her writing will please some key people whose opinion she cares about. But she has also declared that she doesn’t want to be a writer ruled by fear. She is determined not to consult her fear when she makes decisions, in life and in writing.
To me, that’s courageous. As Nelson Mandela said, ‘Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.’
Veronica is not the only one persisting in the face of fear. Ali from Aliventures admits she gets scared whenever she tackles something new. For a long time, Ali thought that meant she was a coward. But over the years, she’s realised it’s incredibly normal to be afraid.
Ali believes that when tackling fear, you shouldn’t try to convince yourself you’re not afraid. Instead, accept that you’re scared. Don’t dwell on it, just acknowledge it. And then do it (whatever it is that scares you) anyway.
Ali’s strategy mirrors Nicole McDonald’s (from Damsel in the Dirty Dress) philosophy in life: ‘feel the fear and do it anyway.’ This damsel has been struggling with writer’s block but has slowly but surely been defeating it.
I’m fighting fear too, all the time. And right now, I’m winning. I’ll share my own personal battle in a separate post later this week, but for the moment, I’m interested in hearing from you – are you a writer fighting fear? How are you going with it? What strategies do you use? Let’s share our tools and win the war between writers and fear for good.