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Fear of failure

in Life Lessons, Random Musings

Photo by maxpate on www.

As I posted last week, I am incredibly close to finishing the rough draft of my first novel. The closer I get, the more confused I become. The only time I’ve been this fearful was when I was worrying about miscarrying a child.

That’s what this book is to me–it’s my baby.

I’ve put my heart and soul into the words on the screen, and yet in my heart I know that I have to be prepared for the powers that be to say that it isn’t good enough… that I’m not good enough.

The fear has been crippling at times.

But on Tuesday night, something changed. I woke up at 3:00 AM amid what was as close to a panic attack as I have ever experienced. I had gone to bed thinking about all the things I needed to do the next day and I didn’t know how to get it done. I felt like I was at a fork in the road as I was seriously debating whether I was wrong in trying to initiate writing as a career rather than just a hobby.

Am I really good enough for this? Am I kidding myself?

See, writing a novel is way more than just putting words on a page. You have to have readers that “follow” you, you have to have your name already on stuff, you have to have all of these things that prove your worthy of a publisher’s investment if you ever want to be discovered. That’s why so many authors do self publishing. Sure, you have to have all of these things then too, but you don’t have to balance it along side fielding rejections from agents. With self publishing, you edit your book, invest in printing your book, and it is officially out there.

The problem for me is that I crave the acceptance of an agent and publisher. Maybe that’s an ego thing, I don’t know, but I really do want to take the traditional publishing route. I want to gain that acceptance from someone who knows what they are doing.

So when I went to bed, I was thinking about what I have successfully done. I made a list of places I still need to submit to, and I got stressed… again.

But at 3:00 AM I woke up and I was overwhelmed by emotion and fear. And it hit me: this is not my burden to bare. I have taught it a million times, but bringing the words into personal action is something else all together.

As a Christian, I believe that God is in control of my life. He is in control of my career. He knows what my future holds. None of these long waits and rejections are a surprise to Him. He’s got it all under control.

I trusted Him with my marriage, and I am happy and blessed. I trusted Him with my daughter, and she is doing better than I would have had the nerve to pray for. I trusted Him with my sons and they are healthy, happy and wise.

Why can’t I trust Him with this?

I decided last night that I will.

This is not permission to be lazy by any means. I still have to do the work necessary to get where I need to be, but I have to revamp my thinking. I need to trust that He has the path paved for me and just keep walking and looking for where I need to go next.

He’s gotten me this far. I trust He will take me further.

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