Friday, March 04, 2005

Writerly Fear

Sir Walter Scott has been quoted as saying – "In literature, as in love, courage is half the battle." Courage is defined in the Oxford dictionary as the ability to disregard fear. Why would this quality be important to writers? What fears are there to be overcome?

The answer is perhaps as varied as the writers themselves, but there are common denominators. There's fear of making mistakes, which keeps us from making the phone call for that interview; fear of public scrutiny, which keeps us from writing that column in the local paper; fear of failure, which keeps our manuscripts in hidden files on our computer; fear of success, which allows cynicism to convince us we are better off staying small fish in small ponds.
Courage is as essential a tool to a writer as the paper and pen, or keyboard, used to write. Without courage, the devil wins.
So how do we conquer our writerly fears? They are conquered with the knowledge that God has called us to write, conquered with a confidence that He will open the doors and show us how to walk through them.
With each step taken in that knowledge, our confidence will grow as we see evidence that God is with us, leading us on a journey that will lead to His best for us. The fears are conquered with the joy of knowing in our minds and hearts that we are at the centre of God’s will when we write. And above all, with love, the one force flowing through us, to Him and from Him, which conquers fear completely and forever.

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