Failure. My answer to that deep seeded fear of failing to be successful is so what? If you are too afraid of failing then you aren’t really trying hard enough. If your heart isn’t into your work, the reader will pick up on that. It is hard to write a novel unless your heart is all in, trust me. Still even when you have been successful, if you didn’t fall flat on your face every once in a while, you probably haven’t been trying anything new, which means you’re boring and predictable. Try things. If they work, awesome, if not then move on. Even if you loved the theme or a character, if it doesn’t work then move on. Growing as a writer is vital to success and vigor in one’s career. Don’t believe? Ask around.
My biggest fear as a writer isn’t failure, it is being mediocre. The reason failure doesn’t bother me is because I have to write, I can be very stubborn. Even if I never manage to go anywhere with my stories, I will continue to write because I probably have some weird obscure form of OCD that dictates the free and open spaces in my mind into stories. There is probably a medical term for it but let us use passion, it flows off the tongue. I will write for the rest of my life, regardless. It is how I define myself. That is just how it is.
It is a sizable fear of mine that when the blood I have smeared across the pages of my stories be met with indifference when they’re weighed and measured against the stock. I will push that massive rock over the top of the mountain just to be cast into some nebulous gray area where my writing career doesn’t really go anywhere. I will be trudging ahead with my compulsion just to always be in the ‘meh’ area of literature. Not really relevant and not really forgotten. Oh that chaps my ass.
It isn’t necessarily rational. It doesn’t necessarily even make that much sense to most people from the feedback I have been given. But it is there, waiting in the shadows ready to strike like a crouched psychotic monkey ninja with lobsters duct taped to each of it’s arms.
So to avoid this, I give more into my writing. I am learning, through sheer practice, how to aim and control the creative power hose. With each story I write and with each concept I shape into a cohesive form of clay, I come a little closer to fulfilling that creative need. In slowly but surely finding my voice, finding my ‘style’, and finding a more productive means of being my island as a writer. Sometimes it requires looking into myself, gazing into the reflective pool of the soul and finding out what is there. Sometimes I have to look into the dark areas, stare directly into that dead spot and try to make heads or tails.