By Tamara D. Fickas
I was a shy child. The one who wouldn’t talk in first grade. A high school student no one remembered because I couldn’t carry on a conversation with anyone. In college, I wasn’t chose during Sorority Rush because I was so quiet. I was quite forgotten, unremarkable. The one thing I thought I did well was write.
Then I went to college and my freshman comp teacher hated every word I ever wrote. So I hid my love for writing. I became shy about letting anyone read any of my creative writing. Over the years, I stopped even writing because of the fear.
In 2006, I decided it was time to stop hiding and start writing. I signed up with the Christian Writers Guild and took several of their courses. My mentors liked my writing. They encouraged me to submit. Yet the voice that took up residence in my head after that fateful college class spoke loudly against this idea. Even today, as I hit send on a submission, my heart beat wildly, and I could hear the voices.
She’ll hate what you’ve written.
You’ll never be published.
How can you think you’re a writer?
Yeah, all these years later it still happens. I’ve learned something, though, by surrounding myself with other writers. Turns out many writers have moments of doubt. A lot of writers tremble as they hit submit. I am not alone in my fear. You are not alone in your fear.
We writers put our hearts into our work. It’s hard when someone doesn’t like what we’ve written. Keeping a stiff upper lip gets tough when your baby has been torn apart.
No one told me when I started writing again that fear was just part of the package. I hoped it would get easier, and I think it probably will, eventually. Maybe.
Lady Bird Johnson once said, “The way you overcome shyness is to become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid.” That’s what we writers have to learn to do. We have to become so wrapped up in our writing that we forget to be afraid. Sadly, the only way to do that is to keep putting our work out there. We have to keep risking in order to get to the goal. Someday, maybe, as we keep pushing forward, we will forget to be afraid.
But if that day doesn’t come, we have to just keep pushing submit, dealing with the fear, and moving on to the next project. It’s the only way to be a writer.
Tamara Fickas – Christian, storyteller, writer, speaker, encourager. She lives near the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her beloved kitty boy, Wilson. When not writing she loves adventures, time with her dad, reading, and making people laugh. Her writing is fueled by life experiences, her vivid imagination, coffee, and Hot Tamales.
Beautiful! And, we are all glad you returned to writing!!
Loved this post, Tamara – – thank you for sharing with us. I can certainly identify with your feelings about your writing. One thing that’s helped me (and surprised me too!) is when some of my very favorite authors (yes, even those who’ve won major awards for their books) have confessed that they also go through times of feeling their writing isn’t good enough and they experience doubts. I figured if even those authors feel that way at times, no wonder I still have doubts too. 😉 I so agree with your statements that we have to keep pushing and risking. Yes!
On another note, I was glad to read that you have a kitty-boy. 🙂 I’m a catmom myself (and my maiden name was Wilson, so good choice on kitty’s name, LOL). Blessings, Patti Jo
Patti Jo, it sometimes surprises me when some of my favorite authors admit to feeling not good enough. Just one of those things we writers share, I guess. Thanks for your kind words.