As a writer, I’ve picked up on several absurd fears that I have relating to my work. Maybe more people than just writers have them, but I think they’re especially common in this line of work. How many of these can you relate to?
1. Fear of humor. When I was a kid, I remember writing jokes into my stories and thinking I was so clever. But then I realized that they always seemed to look stupid in retrospect. Now it seems impossible to tell if I’m being funny or just sickeningly cute.
2. Fear of “said.” Or “then.” Or “very.” These words are often over-used, but they do have their place. It’s just a question of when to use them.
3. Fear of characters. They know what you’re up to, and sometimes they want nothing better than to spoil your plans as a writer. They will hijack your precious novel, and they will triumph in the end.
4. Fear of readers. Will anyone like what you write? Will they be able to tell that you’re not really a great author but only a normal person who likes to write? Will they see through your disguise and judge you?
5. Fear of riddles. Riddles and mysteries are hard to write. You know the answer, but you don’t know how simple or hard the riddle is for others to solve. How Brian Jacques managed so many in the Redwall series I’ll never know.
6. Fear of friends and family. The dreaded questions, the frantic scrambling for answers. The looks they give you when you don’t make sense. It’s a situation that’s much more common than it should be.
7. Fear of book publishers. They aren’t out there to discover your book. They’re out there to reject it, criticize it and tell you that you’re a rotten writer with no future and no talent. Period.
8. Fear of new ideas. They change everything. They ruin your plans. They make it so that your story doesn’t go the way you originally wanted it to go.
9. Fear of logic. Logic is not the writer’s friend. Logic points out all of your flaws and explains why your story could never really happen and why it really doesn’t make any sense, no matter how awesome it is.
10. Fear of losing your computer (and not because of the Internet). Everyone would panic at the sudden loss of a computer, but for many people, a computer is nothing but a portal to Facebook and Youtube. For you, a laptop is a portal to universes that you alone understand and control. Those worlds without you would cease to exist. The characters would die without ever knowing what happens to them, and time would stand still indefinitely!
What fears do you have as a writer? How do you face them? Please share in the comments below; I’d love to hear all about it!