Halloween Special #2: Fear of Failure

I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass through me and over me. 

When you’re writing as a hobby, fear of failure means fear of writing poorly and being embarrassed when you share your work.

When you write as a professional, fear of failure means fear that nobody will every buy your work again, that you’ll stop making money, lose  your house, have your spouse and kids leave you and wind up destitute in an alley sipping sterno you drained through a used gym sock because it dulls the pain just enough to make it bearable.

That’s a reasonable thing to be afraid of, but for professionals it’s not itself a reasonable fear. It’s almost impossible to not get paid for your work if you know where to look. Non-native English speakers get paid for writing in English. They don’t get paid much, but they get paid.

And so will you.

Fear can get in the way of that. It can make you anxious or depressed so you don’t make your deadlines. It can keep you in your day job, working so hard that you never step out to freelance as a writer. Defeating that fear requires a simple change of your mindset. The question is not

Will I make enough money?

The question is

How hard will I have to work to make the money I need?

If you enter your goal-setting and workday with that in your mind, you’ll get by. Keep submitting articles. Keep searching for jobs. Accept the work that comes your way. Some days, you’ll work a cushy assignment for two hours and make the money you need. Other days, you’ll pull teeth for a ten-hour marathon and barely make your nut.

In both cases, you’ve made it for that day. In every case, you’ll make it for that day. It’s just a matter of disciplining yourself to push through the hard days — and never again fearing that you won’t make enough money.

Because you’ll see to it that you do.

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