On Writing: Fearless in Life & Writing

You can’t let fear dictate your life.

Last summer, my mother sent me a text. It goes something like this:

“Police just arrested a guy planning an attack during fireworks! In Cleveland! Please be safe and stay home.”

Is that scary? Most definitely. Even though Cleveland is 3 hours away. Even though I could get shot walking down the street. Even though finish the sentence here. Even though.

We still went out and celebrated with the rest of Columbus on Tuesday, even though my mom’s words lingered in my head. We stayed til the end, even though we were surrounded by tall buildings and a heavy police presence.


We had fun. We saw the best firework show we had ever seen. We spent way too much money on food. We lived. We had an experience together as a family. It was worth the risk and all the what if’s.

As a writer, you can’t let fear hold you back. Even though Susie B Author published your idea first. Even though that one reader had nothing nice to say about your story. Even though your manuscript got rejected by that publisher you held your last hopes on.

I mean, think of it this way—if you never sent it in, you wouldn’t be feeling the pain of rejection now. If you hadn’t put yourself out there, you wouldn’t have had to deal with the harsh words of a reader. If you hadn’t put that idea down, it never would have become a story. 

If you didn’t write what’s in your head, what would you write? Would you write at all?

Like happiness, life is what you make of it. If you let fear keep you from doing anything, what kind of legacy will you leave? How will you discover anything new?

How would you live?

You can’t let fear dictate your life. Do it anyway. Do it in spite of. Do it because you can’t imagine not doing it. Finish that story. Send that query. Take that step out that door. Even though no one may ever buy it. Even though you might face rejection. Even though the criticism could be harsh.

Do it. Anyway. How do you fight your writing fears?

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