Tag Archives: fear

Are You Called To Write?

Have you ever had a thought like this? Man, I’d really love to write a book someday, but I have no idea where to start.

I used to have similar thoughts, but I worked my butt off over the past 11 years, and I’ve been published in Flash Fiction Magazine, Noir Nation No. 3, as well as having self-published A Collection of Reflections (poetry) and Frost: An Otherworld Tale (my debut novel).

If you love a good story, that love is all you need to become a writer. I’ve invested a lifetime of passion and thousands of dollars in learning about writing craft and the publishing industry, and I’d love to share what I’ve learned with those of you who have an inner storyteller begging to get out.

If you’d like to learn more, you can reserve your seat at my upcoming writing workshop dates HERE. The workshops will be held at The Creative Kitchen in my aweome hometown of Bay Minette, Alabama.

Here’s a fun exercise for those of you considering attending the workshop (or anyone who wants to join in, for that matter):

Describe your worst fear in a single paragraph, but there’s a catch; you cannot name your fear in the paragraph. Post your answers in the comments and we’ll try to guess your fear!


Quote of the Day – 4/7/16 – Paulo Coelho On Dreams

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” -Paulo Coelho

Today’s quote of the day is coming a little late, I realize, but a higher calling came this morning. I spent the day with my mother, one of my lovely aunts, and we visited my Great-Aunt Margaret Ruth today. She is my Pawpaw Poochie’s sister, and she will be 92 this November. I woke up with this overwhelming feeling that I had to see this special, wonderful lady. Spending time with her today lifted my soul in a way that nothing has, with the exception of marrying my soulmate.

Now, on to my thoughts on how today’s quote of the day relates to heeding/pursuing your calling. Don’t let the fear of failure come between you and pursuing your calling. Any time you feel fear of failure creeping up on you, I’d recommend praying about it. Pray for God’s guidance in the pursuit of your calling. God’s peace will make the fear abate.

God bless!


Jordan Rosenfeld’s Work It #17 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence

Take an honest look at your writing career and ask yourself if a figure of sabotage is at work in your own life. Make two lists.

List 1: Write your top three writing goals or top three desires–whichever appeals to you more.

Here’s an example:

  1. Acquire an agent.
  2. Publish my novel with a mainstream publisher.
  3. Make an income from freelance writing projects.

List 2: Beside each item, list your top fear for why you have either held back from pursuing your goal or desire, or have sabotaged it.

  1. Acquire an agent. Fear: I don’t know how to write a query letter.
  2. Publish novel with mainstream publisher. Fear: I need an agent first.
  3. Make an income from freelance writing projects. Fear: I’m afraid I won’t make enough to survive.

Realize that your fears are usually anxieties that can be solved witha  more minor step or action. From the example, for instance, if you don’t know how to write a query letter, several books, websites, and classes can teach you this skill in a heartbeat. Don’t have an agent? Once you master that query, hundreds of agents are out there waiting for you to submit your work. And so on.

Break your bigger fear down into manageable bites and steps until you land on the step that you feel you can do. When you try to take on the biggest step that touches on an even bigger fear, chances are it will lead to sabotage.

Okay, so here’s my list, complete with attached fears.

  1. Complete and release Frost on Amazon CreateSpace and KDP. Fear: I’ve been working on this story for way too long and it’s too muddled to even fix now.
  2. Publish a romance novel with Harlequin. Fear: I’m not a good enough writer to be traditionally published.
  3. Write and release my permafree book Hear Your Calling to set up for the release of a 365 Day Heed Your Calling Devotional Book. Fear: I don’t have enough textual evidence from the Bible to back up my convictions, and I have no idea how to find it.

Jordan Rosenfeld's Work It #17 from A Writer's Guide to Persistence

Take an honest look at your writing career and ask yourself if a figure of sabotage is at work in your own life. Make two lists.

List 1: Write your top three writing goals or top three desires–whichever appeals to you more.

Here’s an example:

  1. Acquire an agent.
  2. Publish my novel with a mainstream publisher.
  3. Make an income from freelance writing projects.

List 2: Beside each item, list your top fear for why you have either held back from pursuing your goal or desire, or have sabotaged it.

  1. Acquire an agent. Fear: I don’t know how to write a query letter.
  2. Publish novel with mainstream publisher. Fear: I need an agent first.
  3. Make an income from freelance writing projects. Fear: I’m afraid I won’t make enough to survive.

Realize that your fears are usually anxieties that can be solved witha  more minor step or action. From the example, for instance, if you don’t know how to write a query letter, several books, websites, and classes can teach you this skill in a heartbeat. Don’t have an agent? Once you master that query, hundreds of agents are out there waiting for you to submit your work. And so on.

Break your bigger fear down into manageable bites and steps until you land on the step that you feel you can do. When you try to take on the biggest step that touches on an even bigger fear, chances are it will lead to sabotage.

Okay, so here’s my list, complete with attached fears.

  1. Complete and release Frost on Amazon CreateSpace and KDP. Fear: I’ve been working on this story for way too long and it’s too muddled to even fix now.
  2. Publish a romance novel with Harlequin. Fear: I’m not a good enough writer to be traditionally published.
  3. Write and release my permafree book Hear Your Calling to set up for the release of a 365 Day Heed Your Calling Devotional Book. Fear: I don’t have enough textual evidence from the Bible to back up my convictions, and I have no idea how to find it.

Work It #9 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

Work It #9 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

Chapter 9: Push Through Perfectionism

Choose the fear that resonates most strongly with you at the time of your writing. (You can also repeat this exercise for any other fear.) Make it the title or subject of a freewrite. For example, perhaps the fear of being a fraud is your chosen subject. Set a timer for a minimum of ten minutes and write a short story, a poem, or an essay without stopping to correct a thing. Just let it flow; don’t stop to correct anything. Don’t use quotation marks or punctuation, and don’t cross anything out. Just start a new “sentence” when you feel stuck. This exercise helps transmute a negative feeling into a positive outcome–it’s a mental version of the “Move It” exercises.

I’m going to do this exercise with the support of the 5,000 Words Per Hour app created by Chris Fox. I love that app, and I’ve been using his techniques and doing all my recent blog posts as writing sprints. I’m also using SelfControl to keep me off distracting websites while I do my writing sprints. I know that I have problems focusing, so I’m doing what I can to fix that. In any case, when I reach the end of this Work It exercise, I’ll be posting my WPH stats at the end of this post.

Which fear resonates most strongly with me right now?

Fear of Failure

I struggle every single day with the fear that I’m never going to succeed as a writer. I’m never going to find the time or the willpower to finish my novel. I’m going to inconvenience everyone around me so much that my writing career just won’t be worth it anymore, and I will give up. I mean, what gives me the right to be a writer anyway? Who the hell am I to do this? What do I have to say that hasn’t already been said a million times? Why does my voice even matter?

Does it? Does my voice matter at all? Does my writing mean anything to anybody besides me? What if it doesn’t mean anything to anybody besides me? What then? What am I even writing for? Why does this matter so much to me? Why does it hurt me so deeply and badly when people don’t understand this need that I have to write?

I just went three days without writing because I didn’t want to inconvenience my husband, my cousin Shelby, and her boyfriend James while we were spending Valentine’s Day weekend together at the beach. It was a really nice respite, yes, but did anybody stop to think that I was sacrificing something vital to me for their sake? Did anyone stop to think that I was sacrificing consistency because I didn’t want to be rude? Does anybody understand why this matters so much to me? Does anyone care?

I’ve been what I would call a struggling writer for my entire life. Does anyone else out there get that struggle? Does anyone else out there wake up with this burning need to pour words out on the page? Does anyone else wake up every morning and feel the overwhelming urge to reach out through words and touch someone else’s soul?

I just want to matter. I want the things I love to matter to the people I love. Does that ever really happen? Or are all writers doomed to bear the cross of an overwhelming, burning desire that no one else but other writers will ever understand? Are we all doomed to be the only ones who really care about our writing?

Is there always going to be a struggle between the people who mean the most to us and the one thing we do that means the most to us? Can there ever be harmony? Will I ever win the approval of those close to me? I know I shouldn’t worry about trying to gain others’ approval and I should just focus on my writing practice and getting my message out there. I just wonder why things are the way they are.

Why am I such an asshole to the people who mean the most to me when I feel that they’re threatening my writing practice or my writing life? Why can’t I find some kind of balance between the people I love and the thing I love to do? There has to be some way where everyone ends up happy. How the hell do I get there? How do I reach that balance where everything that matters to me is in a good place, both my people and my writing practice?

Does that exist? Am I going to constantly sacrifice one thing to another? Why can’t I have both? Why can’t I have a good relationship with the people I love and also be dedicated and consistent in my writing practice? Why can’t those two things coexist? Do any other writers out there struggle with this? If so, I would love to hear from you.

Has anyone found that balance between the people you love and your writing practice? If so, I could really use some advice on how to get to that point. I crave that balance. I desperately need love and for those that I care about to be happy, but I also MUST write. I can’t ignore this need I have to write, but I also can’t sacrifice everyone I love on the altar of my writing. I need balance. I need help.

I need the people I love and I need to write. I need both. How do I get there? How do I get to that point? How do I find that balance and avoid hurting the people I love while also achieving consistency in my writing practice? If anybody out there has answers, I’d really love to hear them.

Please send help.

WPH: 1,980


Work It #9 from A Writer's Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

Work It #9 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

Chapter 9: Push Through Perfectionism

Choose the fear that resonates most strongly with you at the time of your writing. (You can also repeat this exercise for any other fear.) Make it the title or subject of a freewrite. For example, perhaps the fear of being a fraud is your chosen subject. Set a timer for a minimum of ten minutes and write a short story, a poem, or an essay without stopping to correct a thing. Just let it flow; don’t stop to correct anything. Don’t use quotation marks or punctuation, and don’t cross anything out. Just start a new “sentence” when you feel stuck. This exercise helps transmute a negative feeling into a positive outcome–it’s a mental version of the “Move It” exercises.

I’m going to do this exercise with the support of the 5,000 Words Per Hour app created by Chris Fox. I love that app, and I’ve been using his techniques and doing all my recent blog posts as writing sprints. I’m also using SelfControl to keep me off distracting websites while I do my writing sprints. I know that I have problems focusing, so I’m doing what I can to fix that. In any case, when I reach the end of this Work It exercise, I’ll be posting my WPH stats at the end of this post.

Which fear resonates most strongly with me right now?

Fear of Failure

I struggle every single day with the fear that I’m never going to succeed as a writer. I’m never going to find the time or the willpower to finish my novel. I’m going to inconvenience everyone around me so much that my writing career just won’t be worth it anymore, and I will give up. I mean, what gives me the right to be a writer anyway? Who the hell am I to do this? What do I have to say that hasn’t already been said a million times? Why does my voice even matter?

Does it? Does my voice matter at all? Does my writing mean anything to anybody besides me? What if it doesn’t mean anything to anybody besides me? What then? What am I even writing for? Why does this matter so much to me? Why does it hurt me so deeply and badly when people don’t understand this need that I have to write?

I just went three days without writing because I didn’t want to inconvenience my husband, my cousin Shelby, and her boyfriend James while we were spending Valentine’s Day weekend together at the beach. It was a really nice respite, yes, but did anybody stop to think that I was sacrificing something vital to me for their sake? Did anyone stop to think that I was sacrificing consistency because I didn’t want to be rude? Does anybody understand why this matters so much to me? Does anyone care?

I’ve been what I would call a struggling writer for my entire life. Does anyone else out there get that struggle? Does anyone else out there wake up with this burning need to pour words out on the page? Does anyone else wake up every morning and feel the overwhelming urge to reach out through words and touch someone else’s soul?

I just want to matter. I want the things I love to matter to the people I love. Does that ever really happen? Or are all writers doomed to bear the cross of an overwhelming, burning desire that no one else but other writers will ever understand? Are we all doomed to be the only ones who really care about our writing?

Is there always going to be a struggle between the people who mean the most to us and the one thing we do that means the most to us? Can there ever be harmony? Will I ever win the approval of those close to me? I know I shouldn’t worry about trying to gain others’ approval and I should just focus on my writing practice and getting my message out there. I just wonder why things are the way they are.

Why am I such an asshole to the people who mean the most to me when I feel that they’re threatening my writing practice or my writing life? Why can’t I find some kind of balance between the people I love and the thing I love to do? There has to be some way where everyone ends up happy. How the hell do I get there? How do I reach that balance where everything that matters to me is in a good place, both my people and my writing practice?

Does that exist? Am I going to constantly sacrifice one thing to another? Why can’t I have both? Why can’t I have a good relationship with the people I love and also be dedicated and consistent in my writing practice? Why can’t those two things coexist? Do any other writers out there struggle with this? If so, I would love to hear from you.

Has anyone found that balance between the people you love and your writing practice? If so, I could really use some advice on how to get to that point. I crave that balance. I desperately need love and for those that I care about to be happy, but I also MUST write. I can’t ignore this need I have to write, but I also can’t sacrifice everyone I love on the altar of my writing. I need balance. I need help.

I need the people I love and I need to write. I need both. How do I get there? How do I get to that point? How do I find that balance and avoid hurting the people I love while also achieving consistency in my writing practice? If anybody out there has answers, I’d really love to hear them.

Please send help.

WPH: 1,980


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