Stories that Matter

What To Do With Fear and Failure and Other Nuisances

I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine.

Maybe you’re familiar with the mantra? It’s easy to say. Easy to repeat. And easy to convince yourself of. Because if you say something enough times, eventually you begin to believe it.

Even if it’s not true.

So last week I wrote about change, and how I was going through a big change in my publishing journey. And yes, part of me is excited about stepping out, exploring new horizons. But, now that the dust has settled, a few old friends have come to call.

Fear. Failure. Insecurity. Anxiety.

Maybe you’re familiar with them too? Gah. I hope not, but . . . yeah, I bet you are. And when these guys throw a party, it’s usually not much fun. I keep reminding myself I’ve been here before. Not knowing what comes next or even how to take the next step. Feeling like a failure and hating it. Wondering if this writing thing is all a colossal waste of time and maybe I should just go back to crocheting. (Yes, I did crochet back in the day. I was never very good at it).


That’s how you deal with fear and failure and their gang. You know they’re the type your Mama warned you about. They’ll drag you down, kick you while they’re at it and lay all the blame at your feet. Who needs friends like that?

But it’s hard. Especially when you can make a list as long as your arm, laying out all the reasons you’re in this place now. Everything you should have done and didn’t. Everything you did do that wasn’t good enough. Blah, blah, blah.


I can’t change what has happened. But I can control where we go from here. And I can change my attitude.

No, it’s not easy. But it’s necessary. Because moping around feeling sorry for myself won’t get a thing done. I know that. I’ve been in this place before. Well, not this exact place, but pretty close. And I know that the only logical thing to do is to get up, open the door, and kick those demons out.

And yes, I know how hard it is. Some days it seems impossible. Some days you just want to be sad. I know. And I think that’s okay too. Some days it’s definitely okay to sit on the couch and eat cookies and watch The Good Place. I’ve been trying to stay off social media because I’m not really in the mood to read about new book deals and new releases. Sorry. I’m just not.

But. I also know I can’t stay on the couch. I have to get up at some point and do the next thing. Even if it’s only writing a blog post that maybe a few people will read. It’s something.

It’s also good to connect, to share, and try to encourage each other, right? I’m so grateful for the friends that have reached out. It helps to know you’re not really alone. Fellow writers really get it. That kind of community is vital. So you know. I know I won’t feel this way forever. I’m not a quitter. Sometimes I don’t know if that’s a good trait or a character flaw. But it’s got me this far, so I guess it’s a good thing.

Anybody with me today? Anybody want to get up, brush off the cookie crumbs and go do this thing?

I’ll walk with you.


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