Anita Agers Brooks

The Secret Fears of Writers

Turn into a ButterflyFear finds us all. Even when we don’t realize it, all humans fear something. Whether it’s death, illness, betrayal, or something else, we all fear loss. Even the most hardened criminal, who would argue by saying, “I ain’t afraid of nothin’,” isn’t making an honest statement.

The fact is, facing an unknown future, losing control, or getting less than someone else can drive anyone to do things they might otherwise never consider. And acting out of our emotional fear can cost us dearly. It’s no less true for writers.

In order to overcome fear, we must first acknowledge it. Specifically, authentically, and thoroughly. So what are some common things we writer-types secretly fear?Try One More Time

  • The publishing market — Bankrupt publishing chains, doomsday prophets proclaiming that books are a dying breed, brick and mortar stores closing, dwindling advances from royalty publishing houses.
  • Less emphasis on reading and writing in public school systems, meaning we aren’t cultivating an interest in books for future generations.
  • Fear of the competition — with fewer contracts being offered from professional publishers, another writer’s success can feel like a choke hold around your neck. Is there any chance for me at all? What if my work doesn’t stack up when compared to theirs? I had an idea for a project like, ___________, but it’s too late now that ________’s book came out.
  • I’ve sent my project to twelve different publishers, and have gotten nothing but rejection — or even worse, no response at all. Maybe I’m fooling myself, and I’m no good.

Let’s analyze each secret fear and see if we can unearth a converse perspective.Do Ordinary Things Extraordinarily Well

  • There’s no question the publishing market is changing. Rapidly. However, if your goal is to see your name in print, there are truly more avenues available than at any other time in history. Blogs. Webzines. Print on demand. These are terms new to the twenty-first century, and they make it easier than ever to spread your message. According to Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outlier’s, it takes an average of 10,000 hours to master anything. These days, you have many options to hone your skills as you learn to master the art of writing. Patience, perseverance, practicing your craft — these form the key that opens the door to any writer’s success.
  • It’s true some schools are not promoting great literature as much as in the past, but it is not true of all schools. The fact that today’s reader wants smaller books, bullet points, and sound bites, only makes it easier for us to write faster. And there are two time-tested things that will never die. 1. A love of story designed into the human condition. 2. A need for mature generations to pass information onto new ones.
  • Comparisons never work. Two people can take the exact same subject, but will bring their own special nuances to the topic, making what they write unique, and offering insights someone else might miss. This explains why there are so many books on similar ideas. The world needs your distinctive stamp on the messages burning in your heart.
  • There’s not enough room or time to recount the many stories of huge successes that were paved on a trail of rejection slips. Stephen King, Michael Hyatt, John Grisham, Louisa May Alcott, J.K. Rowling, and Agatha Christie were all told, “No,” innumerable times. Here’s a link to an article with 50 Iconic Writers Who Were Repeatedly Rejected.

So the next time fear creeps up and tries to snatch your dreams away, remember — There is no other you that has ever existed, exists today, or will ever exist. If you have a message burning in your soul to write, then write it. Keep sharpening, polishing, and submitting it until the right publisher comes along. Or take advantage of the technologies today that allow you to publish in ways that weren’t available a decade ago.

You are meant to write if you can’t turn the desire off. So don’t try. Just do it — the writing thing. One thing we all have in common, there are secret fears writers share. The ones who succeed, put words on the page in spite of what they feel. They keep asking for and accepting wisdom from professionals who know the business. They do one thing every day that adds to their 10,000 hours of practice. And they remember what Thomas Edison said when asked about his failures. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

What fears do you face in your writing?

Anita Fresh Faith

Stories, Tips, Inspiration for Getting ThroughAnita Brooks motivates others to dynamic breakthroughs. Blending mind, heart, and spirit, as an Inspirational Business/Life Coach, International Speaker, and award-winning Author. Her latest book, released through Barbour Publishing, is Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over.

Anita is also author of First Hired, Last Fired — How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market, released by Leafwood Publishing, Death Defied-Life Defined: A Miracle Man’s Memoir, and contributor to The Change Book Series. Her titles are available at all major bookstores, Amazon, plus other online retailers.

She is also host of the Fresh Faith Inspirations podcast. In all she does, Anita fulfills her mission to help 21st century women and men make fresh starts with fresh faith by sharing what she’s learned through experience, interviews, and research.

She’s energized by overcoming adversity, work with integrity, healthy relationships, identity issues, and abundant living. Anita inspires audiences all over the world to believe as she does — in business, as in life and love, it’s never too late!

Anita’s favorite pastime is watching sunsets with her husband of 30 years, while they laugh and dip their toes in the water. Her favorite passion is inspiring others to take life’s battles, and transform them into victories.

You can connect with Anita on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Keep up with Anita’s latest happenings at Email to request information on having Anita speak or train at your next event.

3 thoughts on “The Secret Fears of Writers”

  1. Great reference, Karen.

    It made me think, some may be where I am right now, the writing opportunities have presented themselves, now it’s the fear of running out of time. The scripture below keeps things in perspective, and when I apply it to my life, it never fails to help me meet every deadline.

    Matthew 6:33 ESV

    But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. At times, I can’t define the fear that hovers overhead like a dark cloud. Here’s a helpful scripture: “Put on all the armor that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil’s evil tricks. For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age” (Eph. 6:11-12 GNT).


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