Update on the book: Fear, prt. Infinity

Expect to bury something. You’ll either bury your fear in faith or bury your talents in fear. — Ann Voscamp

Thanks to the large number of you who have continued checking out the blog regularly. I realize the frequency of posts has been way down, even since I returned from my sabbatical. I was not able to finish the whole book while I was gone and so most of my available time has been spent trying to get it finished up.

Fear is my constant companion. I sent a “guest post” to a very successful leadership blog today and found fear lapping around my ankles. I keep worrying that something is going to expose me as a fraud, an impostor, a joke. Sounds severe, I know, but every writer has these fears. We can succeed for a while to push them out, but they always come galloping back again, threatening to take us down. No amount of reassurance seems to quell them. That because they live in a place no one can reach — my own sense of value. Let me show you.

  • I know I am a good writer
  • I know I am a better writer than most
  • I know I am a deeper thinker than many, and that I can capture complex ideas in fairly simple writing
  • I know I love people dearly and write in a voice that is compassionate and patient
  • I know I have something to say
  • I know my work could help people live better lives (because I see it all the time)

My fears aren’t about any of this. My fears are about everything I know above going unrecognized, about my work not being seen by anyone in a position to help my dreams materialize. And yet ultimately I cannot write to be published, or simply to be successful, and certainly not to make money.

Speaking of money and success, I have read that the odds of writing a New York Times bestseller are 1 in 220 [divinecaroline.com]. Not bad odds, really. And yet fear is always lurking. It must be brushed back every time I sit down to write. No wonder most people never achieve anything great, and I say that not with criticism but with compassion. It’s hard. Even getting started in earnest has taken me 43 years.

Currently the manuscript that I have finished (all but two chapters) is being read and edited by two close friends and I will start sending out my proposal to publishers in two weeks after I have had a chance to incorporate the edits.

Question: How are you facing your fears? What passion do you have that will require you to brush back fear constantly? What will the world lose if you don’t face that challenge?

 

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