I considered encouraging you to be fearless. But I realized that's not what I'm wanting to convey. Unless you're a robot, you're going to have fears--fear of rejection, fear of criticism, fear of never getting published, fear of bad reviews, fear of not finishing that novel, fear of running out of ideas, fear of failure, fear of not being able to accomplish edits or rewrites, fear of what others think. As writers, we have so much to be afraid of.
You are going to be afraid.
Nelson Mandela said, "I learned that courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."
- You are going to be afraid when you ask for critique of your writing.
- You are going to be afraid the first hundred time you query your manuscript.
- You are going to be afraid of never getting published.
- You are going to be afraid the first time real readers read your book.
- You are going to be afraid no one will buy your book.
- You are going to be afraid of one-star reviews.
And I could list a hundred more things that, as a writer, you are going to fear.
But have courage. Face your fears and never let them rule you. Stand up to them. Take the hits. Fall down and get back up. Fail and try again. Get rejected and keep sending out queries. Get writer's block and keep writing. Get bad reviews and keep moving forward.
Canadian writer, Emma Donaghue wrote, "Fear is what you're feeling. Brave is what you're doing."
So this is what I want to give you as you go forward into 2017:
***********Melinda Marshall Friesen writes speculative fiction for young people and adults from her home in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. She's the author of Enslavement, Subversion, and The High-Maintenance Ladies of the Zombie Apocalypse. She works in marketing and acquisitions at Rebelight Publishing Inc.