FEAR of Failure vs. FEAR of Success

A fierce battle is raging within … Am I good enough to be a writer? … Am I good enough to be published? … I’m on the brink of publishing with International Publishers considering ME AND HER: a Memoir of Madness and Kids Sci-Fi JOSH AND THE IT, but I fear they’ll reject me … And fear they’ll accept me.

This week FEAR and self doubt is biting my tail, negative visions are over whelming my mind, blocking the positive vibe of myself as a published author.

Fear of success is more insidious, more powerful than fear of failure.

I gaze up to writers like Michael Gerard Bauer, Gabrielle Wang, Dee White, Sheryl Gwyther … in absolute awe. They have the whole package … a writing, presenting, speaking, blogging, reviewing, judging, touring, book signing publishing machine … And I’m daunted by them.

Can I ever juggle that many creative balls?

I must counteract those negative thoughts, before they take over and smother my positive energy.

loabookI grab my life-saving manual, LAW OF ATTRACTION and scan through the pages, searching for words that will reset the negative vibrations that I’m sending with positive ones.

I type up the link and print out the work sheets … http://www.lawofattractionbook.com.au/law-of-attraction-worksheets.php

I hunt through my website and social network pages, finding positive feedback to boost my faltering ego. I list all the positive reactions that I’ve attracted in the last day, in the last week. And read them over again, filling my head with positive self-talk.  … Believe me, I’m trying.

Am I the only writer in the world who experiences self doubt?

We all have our insecurities we must battle. The only way to win is to immerse ourselves in positive thoughts and surround ourselves with positive people.

~ Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing. ~ Anon

~ Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared. ~ Eddie Rickenbacker.

… Boy, am I scared!

But I’m changing my tack … I’m emitting positive vibrations., even if they’re forced.  ) ) ) ) ) ) )
I visualize my books displayed in the front window of a book shop. Excited readers lining up to buy my books, me signing them, leaving a personal message. I smile back, serotonin coursing through my veins.

Writer friend, Bren MacDibble explained this Fear of Failure and Success was as a common denominator  writers share, part of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Bren welcomed me to the Club !! … I thought I was the only one … Thank you Bren :))

PS … Last week, I battled with self-doubt but overcame it by listing positive actions and reactions to my writing, by reading inspiring books and increasing my exercise … I’m now more optimistic of the future.

NB  I edited this post. KT.

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21 comments to FEAR of Failure vs. FEAR of Success

  • Mandy

    Congratulations Karen for being honest enough to admit this. Whether you’re a writer or not, we as human beings are plagued by negative thoughts. All we can do is replace them with positive ones. Good luck with publishing. You can do it :))

  • This past week has been a tough one for me. The only way I’ll get through it is by reading a page or two of the Law of Attraction each night :))

  • Karen, I have to reassure you – I go through many times of self-doubt. It’s normal in this line of work. And remember, things move slowly in the publishing world – I’ve been writing seriously for 11 years and only just getting somewhere in the last year or so.

    We pour our imaginations, our hearts and our words into stories. We take in critiques from writerly friends and manuscript assessors, and we rewrite and edit again and again. We post off our ‘babies’ into the big wide world, only to have them rejected again.

    All we can do is work on the story again and start other stories as well. I find the only way I can keep positive about being an author is to always have several stories on the go. Once one hits the wall, I put it away for a while and work on the other one (or two).

    If you feel you need help with the actual writing process, do a short course (e.g. in writing for children), something positive where you feel like you’re learning better ways to write.

    The main thing is not to lose hope. Keep calm, tell only a few good friends when your story gets rejected and you feel dejected – if they’re writers they’ll understand how you feel.

    Then get back on the horse, and start writing again, and love what you’re doing. Hope this helps, all the very best
    Sheryl 🙂

  • Karen,
    You’ve achieved so much already.
    I think many writers experience feelings of doubt, if their
    writing really matters to them.

    But you can’t wallow, because that’s a very miserable place to be for too long.
    As Sheryl says, get back on that horse.
    Pretend to be brave, and often you end up being braver than you
    thought you could be. My other thing is, I tell myself I’ll worry about that nearer the time and get on with it.

    Best wishes,

  • Thanks Sheryl,
    I appreciate you explaining your own self-doubt and your writing process. Seems all writers are plagued by it. I’m quietly enjoying my children’s writing. This has become my New Love. This past week was an abnormal one for me as I usually feel so positive and inspired. Just a few niggly issues I must sort out … Karen :))

  • Thanks Alison, for commenting here and on Facebook chat. Thanks for your fabulous advice from one who’s been there. You are so reassuring and supportive.
    Thanks for your friendship. :))

  • Karen,
    It would be wonderful if success poured down on your head all at once, but I think it will come slowly, just as it has up to now … and you will deal with it as it comes … bit by bit. You are an inspiration to me in the way you take on your emotional challenge, find resources to deal with it and keep on going. Thank you!

  • Thanks Bronwyn for dropping by. This fear of success has plagued me this week but I am dealing with it, by being honest and resetting my thoughts. The book, Law of Attraction has helped me before and it will again :))

  • Michael

    I don’t think there’s a writer anywhere who isn’t plagued with doubt at one time or another. I think all you can do is write what you’re passionate about and what you believe in, work as hard as you can to do it to the best of your ability and enjoy the journey. If you do that, then you have succeeded. Any additional success that comes your way is a bonus and you will have well and truly earned it.

  • Hi Michael,
    Thanks for dropping by. This week has been tough but I’m dealing with it. Thanks for reminding me … “Its the journey and not the destination.” Thanks too for the wonderful job you do as an Ambassador for Aussie Children’s writing :))

  • Hi Karen
    Self doubt and fear are common to all writers. They lose us time and give us loads of procrastination opportunities. We can become as fearful of being published as not being published. Maybe there’s no pleasing us. Seriously, I find the best way around it is to throw myself into the writing and make that my focus. I’m one too, to think I’ll worry about that closer to the time, though I do work consistently towards being ready when the day comes. You’ll be great. You’re energised and positive. And, yes, sometimes we all have to fake it while our knees are knocking. Hold the smile, the belief, and your dreams. You’ll get there. Until then – write. Best wishes, Chris

  • Hi Chris,
    Thanks for dropping by with your advice. Writers are a sensitive bunch, aren’t we? Like what you said about faking it … That’s what I’ll do to boost my confidence. I’ll keep busy too with my writing:)) Karen :))

  • Karen,
    I think we’ve all been there at one stage or another. Sometimes more than once. It is scary putting yourself out there. But then I remind myself, Hey, I’ve been published so someone obviously likes what I do. Then I get back to work writing and as you said filling the mind with positive thoughts insted of letting those negatives eat away. Sharing with like minded people helps too. Only other creatives understand.

  • Graham Clements

    Imagine writing something that you’re not worried about how people will react to. It probably means you’ve written something really safe and not very challenging. Probably how it feels to be Tom Clancy who pays other people to write his stories.

    Good to hear that publishers are looking at two of your books.

  • Thanks Dale for understanding as a writer and being part of my support system. I will get through this :))

  • Thanks Graham, for being a support for me. When I think about my Kids sci-fi and especially my memoir, the reader will be challenged by my ideas.
    Yes, its fabulous to say, “Two publishers are looking at my books” :))

  • Hmm…Karen – “the whole package … a writing, presenting, speaking, blogging…” – sounds like you’re describing Karen Tyrell – YOU!!
    Yeah, of course you can do it. You’ve already proven yourself 10 times over to me. Cheers Angela

  • Thanks Angela, you’re such a good friend and support. Just feeling a bit over whelmed this week, thinking about the future. I must keep busy writing and focused on what I’m doing. I promise. Thanks again :))

  • Fear of success has always been the bigger one for me. Finally I realized I am such a private person that I was the one holding me back, not agents or editors. Being OUT there in the public eye as ME was far too scary a scenario. So, I opted for an AKA, and whoa…published within months. You have to stay true to yourself! Look at the fear…what is it that is holding you back? Recognize that, and you’re more than halfway there! Wishing you all the best, Anne.

  • Thanks Anne, for relating your personal experience and how you overcame “fear” by using an AKA. Thanks too for your advice and your support. Karen :))

  • Remarkable! It is so nice to find this page! Sometimes it is difficult to find other people with similar passions as me, and therefore, enjoy the same stuff as I do. I also love Law of Attraction. I hope other people find your site as fulfilling I have.

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