The most common concern I receive from writers is how to weather the insecurity and fear of putting yourself out there in the world. I dare say it stops many from submitting, and many others from submitting seriously.
Lack of courage keeps us writing for free (or two cents per word).
Lack of courage keeps us from attending a conference and asking questions.
Lack of courage keeps us from joining a critique group.
Lack of courage keeps us from pitching an agent.
Lack of courage keeps us from entering contests.
Lack of courage keeps us from speaking to groups.
Lack of courage keeps us from writing daily, for fear the investment is for naught.
In making your plans for 2016, set a plan for becoming courageous.
Decide to step out with your writing. I know. It sounds easier than it is. I understand. Having written The Shy Writer Reborn from personal experiences, fears, and misgivings, I have experienced most anything you can throw at me. Speaking stumbles, pitch embarrassments, submissions rejected with debasing phrases.
List some steps you’ll take to be courageous with your writing next year, such as:
Pitching a local magazine.
Speaking locally to a small group.
Submitting to presses in your town or state.
Entering a small contest once a month instead of the national big ones.
Reviewing someone else’s book on Amazon in a serious, thought out manner (shows your writing skills without being direct).
Joining a writers group.
Introducing yourself to the librarians in your area.
Attending a one-day writers conference or retreat locally.
You don’t have to go national with your work. Selling 5,000 books within thirty miles of your house is just as great as selling across the country. The number is the same. Less travel, less stress, less stranger-danger feeling.
Can you imagine how creative we’d be if we were fearless? That gives me shivers just thinking about it. But that’s what I wish for you . . . more courage in 2016. I’m not asking you to tackle the universe; just be bolder doing little things, so that you then become bolder about the middle-sized things. Baby steps turn into marathon runs, just one step at a time. It’s when we stop stepping that we fail.
Take a moment to listen to the podcast interview I did with Dorit Sasson about this very subject. It was a fun session and might help you in your journey. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all.
Giving Voice to Your Story podcast – How to Overcome Fear.