Fear of Failure

Sometimes a freelance writer’s lack of productivity, procrastination or writer’s block can be attributed to fear. One common type of fear that plagues some writers is the fear of failure. I have had to wrestle with this fear personally. In the beginning of my writing career I had one foot in the traditional working world, which I did not enjoy very much, and the other foot in the freelance writing world. I did this because in case one or the other failed, I would still have something.

It actually wasn’t until I started to truly believe in myself that I was able to let go of traditional jobs and give myself fully to my writing career. How did I overcome my fear of failure? I told myself that I was a talented writer, and I meditated on the positive feedback that I was given. I knew that I would have to work harder and make some changes, but ultimately, if I planned things out well and stuck to my plan I could make success happen. It took time and I had to make myself write to the best of my ability. I had to focus on the fact that I do have some skills and people do like my work enough to pay for it.

I read a great post on the fear of failure on Procrastinating Writers (excellent blog to read by the way). This post explains that you need to accept your fear and overcome it with action and perseverance. If you struggle with fears related to your writing career, I do recommend this blog.

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. How interesting that I’m reading a blog on procrastination while I’m supposed to be writing. Thanks for your insights, good advice that will carry me through the day, as I still have one foot in the traditional working world.

    • Thanks for your comment. Be encouraged that you can do what you set your mind to. Sometime you have to be in both worlds, and that is okay. As some point, you may come to realize that you have to fully give yourself to your passion in order to be fully successful, satisfied and happy. On the other hand, you may be fine doing both. Either way, do what you love, and you won’t feel like it is work most of the time.

  2. I think the fear of failure keeps many people from doing many things in both their work and personal lives.

    I focus on succeeding in whatever I do, but I also give myself permission to do something poorly, or to not succeed at it. Accepting and loving myself no matter how my efforts turn out allows me the freedom to try new things and to be happy in the process.

    • What you say is definitely true, John. It is important to accept who you are as a writer and as a person. It is liberating to show yourself unconditional love.

  3. Hi, this is an excellent post. The fear of failure can be crippling at times, but I have to remind myself that I have no chance of getting my work published if I don’t do something about it and send it out. I have to keep telling myself that most people who go out and do something unusual are scared to a point.

    Occasionally, I struggle with writer’s block, though this is more to do with poor structure. I’ve written a lot about writer’s block on my blog. Check it out if you have time: http://lawrenceez.wordpress.com/2009/01/18/37/

    • Hi, thanks for you comment, and for sharing your blog. I liked the breakdown of the different causes of writer’s block. I often deal with the physical aspect.

  4. Oh yeah, fear of failure is probably my number one problem. But, I’m working on it! At least I -know- my problem, right?


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