Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Writer’s Block (Part 9 of 16)

I often see a resistance that shows itself in two different ways. The first is fear of failing. "What if I can't pull off my ideas? What if I fail to say it right?” By contrast, there are those who fear success. "Suppose I write a book—a really good book? Then I have to do it again. I don't know if I could do it again."

We've all known of people who have written one wildly successful book and never wrote again. To Kill a Mockingbird is one example.

My response is, "So what? What's wrong with having one great success? Isn't it better to have one big success than ten failures?" Even though I speak those words, they rarely impact the ones who’ve given into a fear of being successful. Until they figure out how to get beyond that barricade of resistance, they probably won't write.

Fear of failure; fear of success.
Either can paralyze gifted writers.


  1. I experienced this when my agent offered me a contract; I sat at the computer screen and wept. I asked my husband, "Can I do this? This is the big leagues." He had the kindness and courage to believe in me and say, "Yes."

    When I recently lamented to the Lord about something I muffed up, He said, "So what?" I guess failure is not as big an issue with Him as it is with us. Perhaps it's because we care way too much how we look to others.

  2. Wise words, thanks for sharing.

  3. I'm going through the "Oh, no! What have I done?" stage. I started a blog and though I don't have many followers, people are reading it, enjoying it, and looking forward to the next post. That's scary.

  4. I never realized one hit wonders applied to creative outlets aside from music until just a couple days ago. I was reading a design magazine featuring the town of Monroeville, Alabama, home of Nelle Harper Lee. The article was my introduction to the astonishing fact that I came upon so soon again here: To Kill A Mockingbird was the only novel written by its author. It was voted best novel of the 20th century, sells 1 million copies a year, and is published in more than 40 million languages, but that's all she wrote. All?

    You remind us that permission is granted to write a single book. I think it's permissible even if that title is not as singular as Harper Lee's. I've tried many creative pursuits and was proud of my accomplishments only to have my life summed up by someone like this: You're a quitter; you did this, and then you did this, and then you did the other thing. I was thinking achiever, but quitter has an inspiring ring to it.

    I refused a long time ago to live according to possible perceptions. It is good and right to live genuinely, doing with excellence the thing(s) we were created to do. Some may be grateful, others intimidated, and many unimpressed, but ultimately their reaction has little to do with our abilities and opportunities.


What are your thoughts?