When fear strikes, there usually are two things a writer does. Keep on writing, or hide from it.
Hiding from it can take different shapes and forms, from grabbing a book instead of writing one to avoiding your writing area altogether for a length of time.
Fear is such a great illusionist, and it can truly feel big and terrifying. You can dial down its hold on you by asking the question that titles this post. What is the worst that can happen?
When you submit a story, what is the worst that can happen?
The answer could be rejection. Rejection is a bad emotion for everyone. Just keep telling yourself that
• They reject your story, not you as a person
• There are so many markets, you can find another one without much fuss (just look at http://www.ralan.com and http://www.duotrope.com if you don’t believe me)
• The best cure for rejectionitis is submitting. Submitting a lot. Submitting so much that you get used to receiving rejections. That you get used to seeing those letters come in and see it as a way to celebrate your writing by sending it off someplace else.
When you trash a story, what is the worst that can happen?
The answer could be a sense of being disappointed in yourself. How can you cure that disappointment? By immediately starting a new story, by taking out the core idea and use it on a new story. By letting it sleep for a couple months until you find out what isn’t working for a story. You are a writer, and you aren’t meant to stay focused on one single idea in your lifetime.
When you don’t get inspired, what is the worst that can happen?
To, me that answer is: the dreaded blank page. Staring at it and not seeing any words appear. You can cure that by doodling with words. Just open up the dictionary on a random page and pick a word. Let a character you love play with that word and see what comes. Just write.
What is the worst that can happen when it comes to your writing, or an aspect of it?