Fear Factor

When I was a kid, I was afraid of the dark. Pretty common fear, right? My mom got me a little nightlight and after a while I got over my terror. (All right, so I was in college, but I did get over it.)

I also believe if I was bad, when I got into the shower, it would zip me straight down to hell. (Hey, I was a product of Catholic schools.) I got over that fear very quickly, especially after my parents installed a glass shower door in my bathroom.

As I got older, I began to realize I have a terrible fear of heights. I’m not afraid of flying, but rooftops make me queasy. I love roller coasters, but no Ferris wheels, thank you. ( I know, it doesn’t make sense to me either.)

Fear is an interesting emotion. As a thriller writer, I revel in fear. yet that same emotion has also been my biggest stumbling block.

Maybe you know what I mean.

You write a story but don’t send it out. You see that there’s a critique group forming nearby, and you’d really like to join, but you just can’t make yourself do it. Or worst of all, you let your ideas pile up in your head because you think they’re too silly to write them down.

So what’s holding you back?

Writing is a tough profession. No question. There will always be someone somewhere who hates your story. It’s just the way life is. But you can’t let it stop you. So every day you have to push yourself to do the thing you’re afraid of no matter where you are on your writing path. It may not get easier (sorry), but sometimes it’s great to stand on that very high rooftop and shout, “I did it” even and, maybe especially, if your knees are shaking.

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