We writers are constantly facing fear. The ugly monster of fear is a perpetual pressure in a writer’s life. These fears hound us from the time we chose a topic or decide on a story. Even after we finish writing fears continue to accost us.
I have always felt that these fears are obstacles and road blocks thrown along our paths by forces unknown to us, to test our mettle, to firm our sometimes weakening determination and to strengthen our resolve to stick to the path chosen by us.
The monster of fear comes in different forms:
- Fear of choosing the wrong subject. A subject that will just not interest the readers, agents and editors. This is one of my biggest fears.
- Fear of not doing justice to it by way of plot, characters, dialogues, setting and resolution.
- Fear of not having sufficient time to devote to the manuscript.
- Fear of not being able to complete the book. Many times half way through writing we realize that certain elements are just not gelling. Should I shelve the book, or rewrite?
- Fear of not getting an agent. It’s a fear that has gripped me now in a big way.
- Fear of the book not finding any home (publishing house) even though the agent is on board. (That is my biggest fear). Once I overcome no.5, I will be caught by this fear.
- Fear of the editor chopping parts that we considered crucial or important. That is after the book has been placed with a publishing house. For one of my earlier books the illustrator made a blunder and I had to bear the brunt of it by changing one of my main characters.
- Fear of being trashed by critics on whose words hang our writing careers. (If a critic is having a bad day, the result is a bad review).
- Fear of readers disliking the book. I always worry about this one.
10. Fear of the first print run being unsold. This fear has bypassed me for a change as my
first lot of books have gone into several reprints. Thank God for that.
11.Fear of not being given another chance to redeem ourselves.
12. Fear of failure, of being unable to rise upto our own expectations.
I suffer from quite a few of these fears. It varies at different stages of my writing. Sometimes I wonder how I am able to even write with so many fears surrounding me. But the urge to get my story out keeps me going. The vision of my books in a reader’s hands propels me forward.
Do any of you have any such fears? Am I alone? Which fear or shall I say fears do you face or have faced in your writing journey. How do you capture these fears to write day in and day out. It will be of great help to each of us if you share your experiences.