In Dawn’s blog last week, I commented that I feared success, and I didn’t know why. This is something that I have believed about myself for some time. Admittedly, I’ve wondered why, but never too deeply. God no. That might mean I would discover the reason, and once I know the reason, well then, I might just have to do something about it. Gads!
There is another condition I suffer known as the FBS – Fluffy Butt Syndrome. In a nutshell, when confronted, I react like the proverbial ostrich and place my head in the sand, my fluffy butt in the air. In other words, I ignore the issue. An extremely useful condition, I assure you (in the most sarcastic terms).
So back to my fear of success . . . in the past I have, for the most part, ignored it. But if I ever want to publish, then using FBS as a crutch is no longer acceptable. Okay, so let’s break down this fear of mine. First, what might this success – for me, anyway – realistically looks like. After visualizing this success, do I still aspire to this level of success?
For the sake of argument, let’s imagine that I now have this picture in my mind, and after some soul searching, I still want this success, what then? So, I’m no psychoanalyst. Maybe I will never know the root cause of my irrational fear, but there are questions I might ask myself that could help overcome such a fear.
So what, exactly, do I fear?
Not being able to handle success. On some level, what we know is always more comfortable than the unknown. Achieving success means we are entering uncharted territory. Is it any wonder we might worry we are not up to the challenge. It’s easier not take the risk rather than expose ourselves to scrutiny, to criticism, and to new demands for more success.
Fear of Selling Out. Especially in the vibrant Indie world we now occupy, writers struggle with success. To succeed, will we sacrifice our artistic integrity? Will we write to the market? Will we adjust our plots to suit what is selling? Is that really the “success” we really want?
Fear of Becoming Someone Else. Makes sense. If you were satisfied with the status quo, why would we be working so hard to change? Will we be able to stand the light of scrutiny that success might shine on us if we were to achieve success?
So what to do about fear?
I wish I could say there was an easy fix. If there is, I haven’t found it. So for me – Soldier on. And constantly recall that most famous Franklin Roosevelt quote, “Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself.”
Lorinda Peake wrote her first ditty when she was ten on an English seashore while visiting her British grandmother. From then on, her family either acted in or were treated to plays, skits, or commercial spoofs. In school, she wrote poetry, fables and short stories.
Years later, she tossed down a particularly bad novel and thought, “I could do at least that well.” She’s been pursuing the elusive published novel ever since. Recently, she joined a group of fellow writers who decided to cajole, bully, encourage, and sometimes baby each other along towards the publishing goal by setting real and measurable writing objectives with “motivational” consequences for non-attainment.
Lorinda loves a good romance – all the more if it is wrapped in a great fantasy setting. She lives on the Texas Gulf Coast with her husband of 34 years.