In college, my brother played soccer. Each summer, he came home with a list of grueling exercises to complete. I often watched him from the window of our house, wondering and hoping for his sake that the pain would have a purpose on his athletic journey. And while I may have spent days cringing with doubt, fear drove him outdoors to push through the daily routines.
Fear can cause us to stall, or it can drive us forward. We writers live with one prevailing and often common fear.
Is my writing good enough?
If you’ve ever asked that question, whether in the confines of your mind or amongst a trusted peer, you aren’t alone. It’s a question every serious writer wrestles, and sometimes it can drain our writing progress.
So what can we do to prevent fear from stagnanting the journey? How can use it to drive us?
Well, we can grow–Yes, bound deep into the world of agent blogs, writing books, contests, conferences, and critiques. Take advice. Learn humbleness is a virtue, and recognize weaknesses. Edit one hundred times or whatever it takes for our best…
See, this question truly is an issue of understanding. We want to know if our book is good enough for the market, and we don’t have the expertise to answer for ourselves. So how do we overcome the fear of “not good enough”? We develop a greater understanding of the market. We wrestle, we strive, we persevere. And through it all, we learn the expectations for “good enough”, and we rise to meet them.
I don’t know where you are on this writing journey, but the road takes unexpected turns and miles to complete. Don’t give up out of fear; instead, let it drive you toward your best.