Fear Not

negativeLast night I met a teen who told me she put up some stories on Wattpad and asked if I could give her some feedback. She then said something like, “I don’t think they mean anything though. They’re probably not even good.”

I swear, if I hear one more soul saying those words, I’m going to repeat Bloody Mary into a mirror just for a break (and because it is October! BOO!)

Thing is, even after publishing three books, I still have those negative thoughts. Especially last month when I didn’t make the top 20 entries in this contest where 10 agents were making offers on multicultural manuscripts. I admit, I felt like I wasn’t good enough to make it and didn’t touch my manuscript for two weeks. Then I realized . . .

Almost everyone I’ve talked with or listened to on panels took five years or five books to truly ‘make it.’ Why, after three books, would I give up? We have to put in the work if we want to reap the reward.

Don’t ever be intimidated to show off your work. Each one of us is unique and has a story to tell. And if we never share, we’ll never get feedback, and we’ll never improve.

There’s a Bible verse I kept reminding myself of every time I hear about another mass shooting, and I realized tonight it applies to sharing our art as well. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 . . . which is why saying Bloody Mary in the mirror doesn’t frighten me 😉

This has been a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, the brainchild of Head Ninja, Alex J. Cavanaugh. Feel free to join us the first Wednesday of every month! Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

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24 comments on “Fear Not

  1. Way to go to your daughter. It does take courage to put stuff out there, and the Bible quote is puts it in a great light (true.) Sorry about the contest. Funny how this insecurity never goes away. Guess we’ll have to learn to ignore it.

  2. So very true. There is always someone who is “better” than you, and someone who is not. Life is not a contest. As you said, we are all unique, all multi billions of us! Last night while going to sleep the word “compassion” kept popping up. We have lost our “cultural” compassion in this world and fear has a stronger foothold. I hope we, as a society, wake up in time and remember how to be compassionate.

  3. I know exactly what you mean, Jamie. Sometimes the negative thoughts creep in and it takes a while for me to purge them. Love the Bible quote. 🙂

    BTW, I read 18 Things some time ago and loved it. With life getting in the way, I never got around to reviewing it. **Hangs head in shame** It’s a book that definitely deserves one, and I’m putting it on my blog book review list. It was so good I remember most of it; I just need a little refresher.

    Enjoy the rest of IWSG day! Hugs. Eva, IWSG Co-host

  4. Fear unfortunately holds a lot of us back. I let my utter lack of sales prevent me from releasing anything so far this year, and now I’m still waiting to hear back from a cover artist two months after I contacted her. Hopefully I can make up for lost time next year, and maybe in the remainder of this year.

    • It happens to the best of us . . . when I have disappointing sales, God has a way of reminding me it’s not about me. If I’m to have his servant’s heart, then I shouldn’t mind writing a 100 more books to just touch even one person’s life 🙂

  5. Jamie, sometimes is hard to think of you as insecure. You are inspirational and optimistic so much of the time, we might be fooled into thinking you never have fear or doubt. But alas, I suppose we all do. The best way is to complete with ourselves to get better and not to worry about what anyone else can or cannot do.

    Thanks for another great round of IWSG !!!

    • I know the only thing to fear is fear itself, but my mind is a battlefield. I fight the temptation to fear constantly. Just now, my 15yo wanted to wait in the car while I ran into the Dollar Store & I told her no b/c it’d be too easy for someone to abduct her. She rolled her eyes & came in with me 🙂

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