Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

The One Fear That Will Destroy Your Art

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The other terror that scares us from self-trust is our consistency; a reverence for our past act or word, because the eyes of others have no other data for computing our orbit than our past acts, and we are loath to disappoint them.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have one great fear. One haunting apparition. This nagging feeling lurks around every corner in life, waiting to destroy me.

Fear and Art

What am I afraid of?

I am afraid to be myself.

I am afraid to write. Nay, to consider myself a writer.

I am afraid to be what I am. To try, to fail, to grow.

I am afraid to be wrong, to be humbled, to admit the truth. I’ve failed before, and therefore I will fail again.

I am afraid.

I am going to kick fear in the ass and do what I must do, anyway.

I am going to write.
Some good words, some bad.
Some great prose, some terrible.

But I will write without complaint or apology as if my life depended on it. In fact, it does. My inner life suffers when I do not answer this call to be me.

The cost of not pursuing a dream is greater than the cost of failure.

I love what one person recently said about living out his calling as a writer.

Someone asked, “How does he do it?”

To which another replied, “The more difficult question is, how did he not do it all these years?”

How is it that you have spent all this time, dodging your dreams?

Are you afraid?

Not of failure, but of success? Of being who you really are? Of being exposed?

You are not alone.

Not all failure looks like devastation. Sometimes, it looks like succeeding in the wrong things. Or deferring your hope for another day.

Or letting fear hold you back from living an adventurous, creative life.

It’s scary to be yourself.

To be that raw and honest and vulnerable. That’s why most choose to hide.

Not me. Not any longer. Here is my pledge:

Today, I choose my dreams.
Today, I am a writer.
Today, I face the dragon of self-doubt and step into destiny.

This is the day that I will be myself. And tomorrow, I will have to do it all over again.

If you want to make a similar pledge, join by clicking here: 

What about you: What fear is keeping you from your art? Share in the comments.

About Jeff Goins

I help people tell better stories and make a difference in the world. My family and I live outside of Nashville, TN. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus. Check out my new book, The In-Between. To get exclusive updates and free stuff, join my newsletter.

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  • Charlie Chang

    I’m afraid that nobody really likes what I write.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Me, too.

    • Bernard Shuford

      I KNOW that feeling.  Bigtime.

  • http://www.cliffpro.com Cliff Huizenga

    Never be afraid to be yourself. It will help you grow into a better person and professional with time. Keep up the excellent work in your posts!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks, Cliff! What are you afraid of?

      • http://www.cliffpro.com Cliff Huizenga

        Everything; I’m a neurotic mess. lol

        Seriously, I fear failure too, but I think I fear disappointing others more. I can handle my own failures—Most of them you can try again. But to have to go to those who are supporting or rooting for me and admit that I failed is embarrassing and depressing. Luckily, I do have very supportive friends and family, so it makes handling failure easier.

        • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

          Yeah, disappointment can be hard. And yet, if we’re risking, we’re ultimately going to miss the mark and disappoint someone at some point, right?

          • http://www.cliffpro.com Cliff Huizenga

            We don’t know the ultimate outcome—why we call it, “taking a risk”—so anything could happen, success and failure equally. Success wouldn’t exist without failure, and vice versa. We can’t please everyone.

            Likewise, if we *never* take risks, we could disappoint those who expected more from us.

  • Anonymous

    i’m afraid of much of the same – it’s crippling, really. 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      It really is. Unnecessarily so.

  • http://www.eileenknowles.blogspot.com Eileen

    Jeff, have you been inside my head again???  I relate to this
    “The cost of not pursuing a dream is greater than the cost of failure.”  Preach it!  Happy Friday to you. :)

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks Eileen.

  • http://www.storywrought.wordpress.com Lizzie

    All those things!  I’m afraid of taking the next step with my writing in fear that someone will tell me that I really don’t have what it takes.  And thus I live out my life with a safety net, afraid of all those what-ifs.  Silly, isn’t it? 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Silly, maybe. Real, definitely.

  • Anonymous

    I’m afraid of succeeding in reaching my goals, Jeff. I’m afraid that it won’t be as satiating as I think it is. That I will still wake up the next day wanting something more. I’m afraid it won’t fill in my creative holes. And that, in the end, “success” will leave me disappointed–hungry and abandoned–facing the fact that all its promises were empty.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      I think you have good reason to fear that, Mandy.

  • http://beckfarfromhome.blogspot.com/ Beck Gambill

    Wow, that hits close to home. I fear being exposed as an imposter. Having the mask of writer pulled off and the me I am being a disappointment. Some days I feel like the little sister following her older writing sisters around hoping to play, fearing rejection but doggedly following anyway. I must write or the words will clog in my heart and rupture. One day I hope to look in the mirror and see a grown up writer, no mask, no fear. For now the vulnerability propels me and I believe makes me a better writer. Thank you for that cathartic experience!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Wow. Me, too. I didn’t realize it, though, until you put words to it. We’re all a little afraid of being found out, aren’t we?

  • http://thisismethinking.com/ Darrell Vesterfelt

    I am afraid of myself too.  I had a friend tell me yesterday, that I am more valuable then I act.  It really hit my heart deep.  He was basically telling me that what I do is more legitimate then I allow myself to think, and that I need to stop sacrificing parts of who I am to prove myself.

    I am a writer, even if people think my writing sucks. — my old bio on my blog said I am afraid to call myself  a writer — thanks Jeff, you are in a good place my friend.

    • http://www.madebydenise.blogspot.com Denise Smedley

      You are blessed to have friends like that;   those are the type of friends that nurture your growth.  Enjoyed your last post, Darrell.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks for your constant encouragement, Darrell.

    • http://www.christopherneiger.com/blog Chris Neiger

      I thought I was the only one who was afraid to call myself a writer. Glad to hear there are so many more of us that think the same way.

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

        I think that there is an inherent insecurity that comes with being a creative/artist/writer.

        • http://www.christopherneiger.com/blog Chris Neiger

          Agreed.

  • http://www.madebydenise.blogspot.com Denise Smedley

    Inspiring;  I needed this.  I’ve been loaded with fears lately!

  • http://www.facebook.com/justin.difazzio Justin Difazzio

    Same thing.  I might have to print this out and hang it on my wall.

  • http://courseadjustments.wordpress.com B_schebs

    I am afraid of finding my passion and not knowing what to do with it.  Thanks so much for the words today Jeff.  It really spoke to my heart.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      I’m glad.

  • http://relevantbrokenness.com Marni Arnold

    I’m afraid of succeeding in the calling I have on my life to write and share my testimony in a book. It’s paralyzing, and I lock up every muscle in my heart in fear over this at times…little by little though, I am finding the guts to get the words out. Step by step, I am getting to the finish line.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thank God…

  • http://www.atlumschema.com Andy Mort

    Spot on. Fear of the success of projects has always been my biggest blocker, the fear of losing control of them. I suppose a fear of mis-interpretation is also a big one.  I have to remind myself constantly that ambiguity is a good thing and that the beautiful thing about art is the incredible number of ways it can be interpreted – everyone has their own view.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      I had that same fear when posting this article.

  • Anonymous

    self doubt is my biggest hurdle.  Love what you wrote here. I plan to copy it and keep it.  Inspiring words. Sure makes me feel better to know I am not the only one!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      me, too.

  • http://www.leighkramer.com/ HopefulLeigh

    It is scary to be myself. To declare that I’m a writer and invite others to read my words.  That is a vulnerable place.  And yet, that’s exactly what I’m freeing myself up to do.  We’ll see what this next year holds!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      excited for you!

  • http://thisdreamersjourney-lynne.blogspot.com/ Lynne Holder

    It seems I’m not alone. Not only that, I’m in good company.

    I’ll be printing this as well. Thanks for posting it!

  • http://www.gospellab.com Gospel lab

    As Winston Churchill said, I am afraid of fear itself.

    If we don’t embrace and develop the person that God has given us to be, then we will be singing with Baloo in the Jungle Book movie, “I Want to be Like You”.

    • http://www.gospellab.com Gospel lab

      Actually it has been a while since I have seen the movie now that my girls are a little older.
      It wasn’t Baloo who sang the song it was the leader of the monkeys.  That is even worse!  :-)

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

        His name was King Louie, no?

        • http://www.gospellab.com Gospel lab

          I believe so, and wikipedia in the Disney Adaptation section says: King Louie the orangutan.

          I really don’t want to dig through our old VHS tapes and watch the movie again.  :-)

          • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

            What’s VHS? ;)

  • http://robrash.us Rob Rash

    This is funny Jeff, I wrote a similar post today on ‘Why I Write (and You Should Too)’ about our need as artists and writers to simply create because that’s who we are.

    I’m thinking this could be the start to your second e-book!

  • http://twitter.com/messicajae Jess Farrar

    Wow. Did you sneak into the depths of my soul and record the details of my deepest fears?? Seriously – you perfectly described my exact fears, because I face the same challenges when it comes to my writing and to stepping up to the need that I am called to fill. 

    This reminds me – that God’s grace is sufficient for us, for right now, for today. It will get us to tomorrow, and it will be sufficient for tomorrow too. For his power is made perfect in our weakness… and boy, am I weak. 

    Thank you for this…it’s good to know I’m not alone–and I feel inspired to face my fears, if only for today.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      I did, actually. ;)

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    I always ask myself the question… am I ready for success? What if a million users came to my website or Oprah picked up my book? Would I be willing to quit my day job? Sometimes I think it is easier for someone to become successful, if they have nothing to lose…

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      doesn’t success always cost something?

  • http://katdish.net katdish

    I think fear of exposing the depths of me is a constant fear, even though I think I write fairly honestly. But fear is not always a bad thing. Billy Coffey wrote about good fear that writers should have. He puts it more eloquently than I ever could: http://www.billycoffey.com/2011/03/swinging-the-hammer/

  • brewster

    GREAT post Jeff! 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      thank you, my friend.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    Afraid? Me? Afraid so!

  • Anonymous

    I spent four months of my life last year focusing on a list of fears a mile long with my mentor/counselor. To be honest, it sucked! But it was the best thing I ever did. I had a fear of success, but at the same time I had a fear of failure. I pretended to be tough on the outside, but in the inside I was a scared little girl crying out for help. Fear was around every corner. 

    I still struggle with certain fears today. But as Joyce Meyer says, “I’m not where I need to be but thank God I’m not where I used to be.”

    • Jarod Billingslea

      Hey Sundi, can  I use that quote by Joyce Meyer? It’s a really inspiring quote to me.

      • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

        Absolutely! It inspires me so much. 

  • http://somewiseguy.com ThatGuyKC

    HOORAH!!
    Great post, Jeff. You ARE a writer.

    I agree that it is scary to truly be ourselves, open and vulnerable. That sort of fear of success is like asking ourselves, “What if this actually works?”

  • http://www.rightbrainplanner.com/ stargardener

    “The cost of not pursuing a dream is greater than the cost of failure.” Indeed!  :)

    I agree to face dragon of self-doubt and be myself! Empowerment seems to in the air … I have read several posts by artists (and wrote one myself!) who are declaring their independence from doubt! o/

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      amen.

  • Matthew Snyder

    Beautiful, bro. I’m afraid that I might actually be successful in my impossible pursuits. Fear paralyzes and cripples me from jumping off the bridge and into the unknown. But you know what? I love kicking fear in the ass, too.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      :)

  • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

    I think I remember John Eldredge saying something similar in “Raising the Dead.”He realizes after reading a piece by Nelson Mandela that we do not fear that we are not glorious, but exactly the opposite: that we are.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      I love that.

  • http://twitter.com/daniellllllle Danielle

    I LOVE this post. It’s great and came just as I’m learning who I am and how to be myself.  Thanks for the encouragement! 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Glad to hear it.

  • Rob Holliday

    What a courageous rally cry- I’m planning to copy it and print it above my desk as a manifest reminder of what I feel is truly my inner call. I like to think of getting through these trials of fear and failure are akin to the tempering of steel- plunged into to fire, hammered on the anvil, but made stronger all the while.  Thanks Jeff, I hope you enjoyed writing this as much as I’ve enjoyed reading and re-reading it.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Indeed

  • Daveymueller

    Just put the WORDS on the PAPER. Then maybe go to the Post Office and buy some stamps or something. But stop being so damned “artist-ly” and put. Words. On. Paper.  Jeebus.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Hmmm…

  • http://lifeallin.ent Jacob Musselman

    I’m afraid of being insignificant.

    But more than that I’m afraid I will do all I dream to do, and then it turns out all my dreams were insignificant.

    Great post.

  • Brenda Causey

    My writing journey has mirrored my salvation experience it seems. I was afraid to let go of what I had, afraid that it wouldn’t be as good, but I could see everyone on the other side, who had already made that decision. They were so happy. I wanted that. Now that I’m on the other side myself, I wonder why it took me so long, and the things I had to give up were nothing compare to what God has given me to replace them. Just starting my writing journey, I’m back in that same spot. Wondering if it will be worth what I have to give up. You all seem so happy to be doing what you love. Is it worth the sacrifice? I’m afraid of wasting my time pursuing a dream that may not be what is meant for me. We have so little time left. I want to make the most of it.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      interesting parallel.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tom-Relth/100000252628565 Tom Relth

    Thanks, Jeff for inspiration.  Writing to you from Casablanca Maroc. Starting a digital newspaper with 6 students in September.  I am busy looking a how others do these things. Daughter Katharine in NY @ katharinejoann has encouraged me by her works (social media D)  at a film festival in NY to use social media as the tool. keep it up. T

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Wow, Tom. I love the diversity of community we have here. All the best to you! Thanks for the comment.

  • Matt

    You pegged me. I’ve been lurking, reading, debating whether to confess this. But I’ve discovered the simple act of choosing to live outside my selfmade prison – I conveniently call my comfort zone – is all at once fearful, painful, liberating and necessary. And this is intentional: my daily battle against the giants of self doubt and regret. Today I am winning. Thanks for this post Jeff!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      awesome. i’ll see you on the battlefield tomorrow.

  • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

    Nicely written Jeff!

    Fear of what others will see and think. Will they see it the way I intended. Will they agree and see it as worthy. It is scary to be ourselves.

    Thanks for writing so well what so many of us feel.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      You’re welcome. Thanks for reading.

  • http://angellslife.com/ Heidi Angell

    Beautiful, as always! I get this little clinch in my gut when people ask me what I do. It is not that I am not proud to be a writer, but that I don’t know what they think of writers. I push past my fears every day and I am better for it!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      I have that same feeling. For me, it’s insecurity that I need to get over.

  • http://angellslife.com/ Heidi Angell

    Beautiful, as always! I get this little clinch in my gut when people ask me what I do. It is not that I am not proud to be a writer, but that I don’t know what they think of writers. I push past my fears every day and I am better for it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/angie.kinsey1 Angie Kinsey

    I like a quote by Harlan Ellison – “Never be afraid to go there.”

  • Carryl R.

    Oh wow.  Are you sure someone hasn’t been slipping you pages out of my journal?  This seems to be a recurring theme with me. Fear of success, fear of self, fear of being vulnerable, of calling myself by my rightful name: Writer.  Musician.  Photographer.  Artist.  It’s a comfort to know I’m not alone

    Thank you for this.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      You’re welcome.

  • http://amykiane.typepad.com/ Amy Nabors (@amykiane)

    I have battled the fear of being myself for years now. I think it started when my mom became ill when I was 10. Awkward tween and teen years with no security at home. Taking on responsibilities at home and trying to be the ‘strong’ one for everyone. I lost my ‘voice’ and creativity out of fear of what others would say and not wanting to add any more burden to anyone. Thankfully I’m beginning to find my voice again. 
    Your thoughts on fear of success reminds me of a quote from Marianne Williamson that I shared on my blog. http://amykiane.typepad.com/ordinarily_extraordinary/2006/11/amazing_quote.html
    Wonderful post Jeff.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      thanks, amy. keep fighting to find your voice.

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  • Chris

    i was wondering if others shared the same fear of displaying their art, their life force that begs to be paraded but seldom seen. i really needed to see this. thank you.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      that’s more common that it should be. thanks for the comment, Chris.

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  • http://liberalcynic.wordpress.com/ liberalcynic

    I have always been afraid of testing my true writing potential and depth, too afraid to find out that I’m extremely finite. I’d rather have a feeble and pathetic illusion of doubt. I wanted to be a journalist and a writer when I was young, and I chose a career in the health sciences for safety. I fiddle with writing every now and then, but it’s not nearly how much I want to. I want more than to write: I guess I want to be a writer. For some reason, I find it hard to find the sack to do it.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      I can relate. 

  • Cat York

    I love when you write like this. Great inspiration, Jeff.

  • http://twitter.com/Marisol_DAndrea Marisol D’Andrea

    I couldn’t agree more.

  • http://twitter.com/Marisol_DAndrea Marisol D’Andrea

    I couldn’t agree more…

  • http://twitter.com/Marisol_DAndrea Marisol D’Andrea

    I couldn’t agree more… Great post!

  • Anonymous

    I am afraid to call myself a writer. I even scoff when others call me a writer. But this year I’m hoping to step into it with more boldness.

  • Deepa

    Rightly said. The fear to be self is the fear that is least spoken of. And how beautiful it is, when God strengthens you, and asks you not to succumb to it, that you are above it and asks you to believe and go ahead.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      amen, Deepa

  • http://nickysingh.com.au/ Nicky Singh

    Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday … So worry no more .. what will be will be … Thats how I luve my life…

  • http://www.12novels.com/ Michelle Tuckett

    I’ve noticed that the more I follow my dreams and fulfill my goals, the more afraid I am. It’s turning into my guiding light – if I’m not scared out of my gourd, I’m not pushing hard enough. 

  • Zippy

    Awesome post. Thanks for writing this, and inspiring me to face my dragon and make it my friend.

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  • Meg R

    Yes, I’ve known for a long time that I have a fear of success, and it keeps coming up in casual comments or things I read on writing.  It stops me in so many areas of my life that I am only amazed by the fact that there are still aspects that are now just revealing themselves.   I still only call myself a writer in safe places, as I don’t want anyone to ask to read anything I’ve written.  This is all a hangover from hugely critical parents who read my diary and ridiculed it unmercifully till I lost all my confidence. 

    Now I write daily and keep journals, so its a big first step for me.

    Meg  

  • anokina.shahbaz

    These are brave statements Jeff. I am afraid of being exposed as myself, as I often am only a reflection of what others think of me. I am still working on removing the shadows so that I may really see who I am in order to live that out. Thank you for your honesty.. it gives me courage. 

  • Melissa

    Thanks for the swift kick in the pants Jeff. I needed it! The reality is I’ll need it again tomorrow and the day after that….

  • Chazoshark

         I can relate to many of these posts. God has given me a wonderful life. I have a wonderful fiance, about to graduate from school in a year and he’s given me a wonderful imagination which is never dry. However, my self doubt has held me back for years. I just turned 29 and the fact that I know I don’t fit in is terrifying. I have asperger  syndrome. Does anyone know what that is? Well I won’t give an indepth analysis, but it makes character development close to impossible. However, I can tell a pretty neat story with great atmosphere. Many famous authors were known to have this mental illness: Sherwood Anderson, Lewis Carroll, Emily Dickinson etc.
          Maybe I’m putting this burden on myself, but I feel there is a bias toward authors with asperger syndrome. Just because many of us can’t produce three dimentsional characters we are looked upon as stupid. “If we don’t care about your characters we don’t care for your story”- isn’t that the phrase? It is this phrase which leaves me paralyzed, curled up in a corner shaking. Sometimes I ask the good lord why he gave me this hunger to write and share it with the world. Silence is my answer, that and the urge to keep going. But I’m glad I joined Jeff’s blog. Every time I receive a message in my inbox he’s like a helpful guide. The lords hand I guess you can say. I take solace in this and the fact Sherwood Anderson didn’t publish until he was in his early 40′s. Anyway thank you Jeff. Do you or anybody on this thread have nuggets of advice for me? Thanks to all and God bless.

    • http://katdish.net/ katdish

      I know what Aspergers is. Someone very close to me is an Aspie. I don’t consider it a mental illness, you simply process and engage with the world around you differently. You are definitely not stupid, and sometimes (oftentimes) what makes us different is what makes us uniquely gifted. Maybe you have a story which can only be told from your own unique perspective. If writing is your passion, then pursue it and keep fighting to have your voice heard. Have you ever read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon? From Wikipedia:

      The story is written in the first-person perspective of Christopher John Francis Boone, a 15-year-old boy who describes himself as ‘a mathematician with some behavioral difficulties’ living in Swindon, Wiltshire. Although Christopher’s condition within the autism spectrum is not stated explicitly within the novel, indeed, the words autism or Asperger’s are not used by Christopher at all; the summary on the book’s inside cover or back cover (depending on the edition) describes it as Asperger syndrome, high-functioning autism, or savant syndrome. In July 2009, Haddon stated on his blog that the book is not specifically about Asperger syndrome and that he is not an expert on the subject.

      • Chazoshark

        Thank you katdish. I will certainly check the book out. Hope all is well my friend.

  • Bryan

    Outstanding article! Congrats. You’ve inspired me today and for that I am thankful.

    Good job, Jeff.

    Bryan

  • NicoleAmanda

    Jeff, this post is spot on.  As usual, you have really spoken to something sacred inside each of us. Especially me as a burgeoning blogger/writer.  Thank you for being so authentic in this post.  It spoke to me.

  • http://www.shannonmilholland.blogspot.com Shannon Milholland

    Jeff, thanks for sharing this post in Platform. I have definitely been the poster child for writer’s fear. Slowly but surely I am overcoming it. Greater is He that is in me…

  • Charme Robarts

    I’ve only been blogging two months, though I’ve done various kinds of writing all my life. For the last week, I’ve been loathe to try to put anything on the blog and the reason is just what you named. I’m afraid. Afraid of the audacity of adding another drop to the overflowing cup of words. Afraid that my blogging is just an exercise in seeking significance.

    But your post refreshed me and I remembered an overflowing cup is a sign of plenty and the stuff of celebration. I am seeking significance, a sign that I am alive and in this together with all who have life and breath.

  • http://www.dianedrake.com/ Diane Drake

    Lovely post.  It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Shakespeare, one I try summon when I feel my fears creeping up on me and threatening to get in my way,   “Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose what good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.” 

  • Tine

    I always love to write but I don’t know where to start. I graduated with a course in Accountancy but I know deep in my heart I want to write. I made my own blog site but I’m afraid to show my writings. I’m afraid that my grammar is not good enough. I have so many negative thoughts. I’m so terrified what other poeple will say. Now I’m stuck. But the yearning to write is just boiling deep inside me and so ready to explode. Help! Where do I begin? What shall I do? I know this is a God-given gift and God is pushing me to write because I have already set my goal for a long time and that is.. to write for His glory. Thanks in advance for your advice. :)

  • Sam Edge

    Okay, this is a great post Jeff. Hit me right where I live. I have always whined that I wanted to do more writing but kids, work, no one understands me, dog ate my laptop … “How did I go all these years without doing it?” Here I a staring middle age in the face and just three months into writing – which is one of the only few truly satisfying things I have ever done. For 20 years I have been writing environmental assessments and technical reports and kept the monkey in the cage with this pseudo release. Since I started Blogging I can feel the passion of my youth creeping bak into my life. So now what .. I will keep writing. Thanks for this and other posts on this site!

  • Elena

    Jeff, I recently made the decision to begin writing my first book.  I have always kept it in the back of my mind as a”wouldn’t that be great’ thought, but always felt it was out of my league.  Even though English is my predominant language, it is not my native tongue and still have hangups about vocabulary, grammar..etc.  I grew-up in a spanish speaking household and I still mispronounce words, and many times even use words incorrectly. So that’s what holds me back.  I have so much content to share, and great stories that I feel would make a great fiction – but I’m capsuled in fear. I don’t understand what’s come over me the past year.. I just know I need to write.  I will write. I have started by reading blogs and articles as yours to inspire me. I have designated space in my laundry room to write, and have printed the fifteen headings from the great writers series you implemented and taped them on my wall. I have no background or knowledge as a writer. I figure I’d focus on the content and learn as I go. I have started with brief bios and background info for my characters. I am working on an outline now.  I have no idea what I am doing, and I have already gotten negative remarks from people who have been in my life for years but don’t get it, simply because they’ve never known me as a writer.  I feel like I don’t have the support, and I am a bit unsure about joining writers groups due to inexperience.  For this reason, websites like yours have been my buddies and comfort right now. Thank You. 

    • velu prabhakar

      Am sure You can be an awesome writer. But you need to work on that seriously. Good Luck!

  • Michele

    Reading this was exactly what I needed to finish a blog post today. Quiet scribbling and hidden pieces in notebooks, halfway developed ideas in Word documents: all signs that I’m afraid to let anyone know that I have no right to be a writer. Time to smack down that mean little voice of fear. Thanks, Jeff.

  • Skeeter

    Howdy, I have just discovered your site and am enthused by your posts, your encouragement and your straight to the point teachings. I am definitely afraid of myself! I have only ever had time for momentary spurts of creativity in my hectic life up until recently. However, whenever something has happened in either my life or that of a loved one or friend, I have had words simply pour out of me that I must stop and get onto paper immediately. They are generally quite powerful to the event that has just happened. This has just happened again and yet this time it has made me more aware of all the previous events that lead to similar outpouring into either poetry or short stories. So I am now more keen to pursue this hidden ability (if that is what it is), to see if I can tap into that, but hopefully without needing an ‘event’ to foster those emotions! So I am grateful that you are so willing to share your knowledge, experiences and that you do it so honestly.

  • Donna

    Thank you, Jeff! I have been hiding and waiting, so afraid for so long of what others think about me. What a waste! It’s time to be ME, in all my messy, imperfect, super-creative glory! Your words are changing lives! God bless you!

  • loisolson

    I think it’s the fear of being seen. Truly. As I am. And then being rejected and mocked. I wonder if Jesus ever felt like that?

    This article is so powerful, Jeff. Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing it. It gives the rest of us courage to live life with purpose being who God created us to be. To quit hiding our light. To dwell. To lean into the scariness of not knowing and just trust Him in the process of living and growing and becoming all that He intended us to be.

    That’s my manifesto today.

    I choose a purposeful life. Lived fully. Without regrets.

  • http://www.jugarjugar.net/ Jugar Jugar

    The fear is real hurdle for us in all matters, I actually agree with that your article. It is indeed the correct information in this regard

  • http://DougBalmain.com Doug Balmain

    Very poignant post…creating new work is very daunting and I often find myself struggling with the fear of what others might think, or weighing my new work against work I’ve already produced.

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