The Fear Factor

Does this sound familiar?

I know it’s imperative that I complete the science fiction novel I started, yet I find myself doing everything, but finishing the novel.  I’ve watched Youtube videos and read by books by several motivational speakers, so I understand the importance of setting goals and taking action. I’m constantly reading books by great writers, which is one of the ways you improve your craft. I take the time to write articles and short stories, which is still writing, but if I keep taking side roads, I’ll never reach my final destination.

Isn’t it strange how two completely different fears can have the same result?

I fear failure. Once I finish the novel, I know that I’ll start submitting it to agents and/or publishers and I’ll have to face the very real possibility of rejection and criticism of my work.  Having a short story, essay or article rejected is not a big deal, because I didn’t put that much time into the process.  However, I’ve also had several feature length screenplays turned down, and I know how much those e-mails sting.

I fear success. Success would mean giving up my job as a forklift operator, and taking full responsibility for my life. I would no longer have a predictable work schedule, or a  regular paycheque. How much would I be paid to speak at libraries and writers’ conferences? How much would I earn from book royalties?  Could an agent sell the film rights to my books and short stories? If I had a popular novel, would directors and producers finally take my screenplays seriously?

And yet, I want to find out. I want to know whether I have what it takes to be a successful writer and the only way to find out is finish the novel. Do you have a major writing project that could change your life? Perhaps it’s time you made that final effort to cross the finish line. You could be signing books and doing interviews sooner than you think. For writers, it often only takes one book or one screenplay to move from obscurity to being a headliner at writers’ conferences.

Copyright © 2018 by J. Paul Cooper

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