Fear of Failure

On the long and winding road that is a writer’s career, one aspect that perhaps deserves a passing glance is fear of failure.

What is this thing that lurks unseen, this oddly shapen, unacknowledged and slightly shameful thing?  Fear of failure? Never heard of it….

Fear of Success, Fear of Failure, Fear of the Unknown…. Fear lurks in many guises, and stalks a lot of artistic people, a lot of business people.  Fear keeps us trapped in the things we know and have done a million times.  Fear is the loop that we know, that we often hate, and that we fear to escape from, because we have learned to be afraid of a bogeyman lurking outside, in the great, unknown.  The edge of the world beyond which there be dragons….

 

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I say, What?  Why should that space on the horizon be scary?  What did that figment of a briar bush ever do to you?  It’s just sitting there, harmlessly being a briar bush.  It ain’t going to suddenly get up and attack you, any more than you are likely to walk towards it and fall in head first.

Fear of failure reminds me of an anecdote I read in the wonderful book by Helen Fielding, ‘Cause Celeb’ which I like because it reminds me of hot places and the often weird dislocation of travel.

In it, a group of people is walking in the bush, and they come upon two Landrovers which have collided with each other, crashed in this otherwise wide-open landscape with no roads, no other people, nothing as far as the eye can see except sand, rocks and brush.  There was plenty of room for them, anywhere in the whole wide horizon, but they somehow magically, found each other and collided….

The universe is essentially a safe, fun place to be.  And we have to believe that, if we want to start, finish, edit, polish and start submitting our work.  It may take years, but it may also be the best fun, the most exciting challenge we have ever faced.

Thanks for reading.

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