My Dear Hubby has a heart defect. All his life, he’s known something wasn’t quite right with his heart–“he’ll never play sports,” said one doctor–“you have no superior vena cava,” said another–“a heart murmur, that’s what he has,” was a sentiment echoed by several other professionals.
Yet, no real diagnosis was ever provided, nor was any believable prognosis ever made. Despite being told he’d never play sports, DH vigorously competed all through high school and works out nearly every day as an adult.
He was never limited physically, though the emotional toll has grown over the years. You can’t hear, “We have no idea what the long-term effects of your condition may mean,” without stressing over your future just a little bit.
Writing carries it’s share of stress, too.
- Who will love my writing?
- Who will hate it?
- What if nobody publishes it?
- What if somebody publishes it?
- I can’t self-promote. It’s too scary.
- I’m afraid to query.
- I’m afraid not to query.
- I have writer’s block.
- I sent my query yesterday and haven’t heard back. Now what do I do?
- I can’t stand waiting.
- I. Can’t. Stand. Waiting!
Writers can nearly cripple themselves with fear of the unknown. Like DH’s medical problem, writing has no clear diagnosis or prognosis.
Just because you find an agent doesn’t mean you will get published. And even if you publish one novel, it doesn’t mean you’ll hit the best sellers list. Heck, it doesn’t even mean you’ll be able to complete a second, cohesive manuscript. There are no guarantees in writing.
But there is one certainty.
If you let fear rule your writing, you will never get published.
DH went to the Mayo Clinic this week. After getting checked out by a cardiologist, he finally has a clear diagnosis. He has a rare heart condition that affects roughly .4% of the population. In a way, one of the doctors was right. DH didn’t have a superior vena cava. He had two of them. He’s also 100% healthy and doesn’t have to worry about his ticker unless he undergoes heart surgery for something else altogether.
Imagine if DH’s mom let fear change the course of his life. If she had refused to let him play sports, his heart would have weakened from inactivity. He would have failed physically without even trying.
How do you stay inspired to write? In what ways do you let fear rule your writing? Has anyone ever told you your heart was too weak for writing? How did you prove them wrong?
Curious minds want to know?