Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Fear of Failure

"They" say procrastination is nothing more than a fear of failure.

Okay, I'll buy that. But how do you overcome it?

Is it luck or self discipline or just a matter of closing your eyes and leaping? Is it a fear of regretting the things you never did or didn't try your hardest? Or maybe overcoming this fear of failure means accepting failure as a friend and doing it anyway.

This freelancing thing is tough. The lack of money is ridiculous. Moving to a new city where I don't know anyone or have any writing contacts or even anything concrete to write ABOUT yet is kind, challenging. I'm trying to be positive here, and although "depressing" and "exhausting" and "dark and hopeless and full of woe" all come to mind as adequate descriptions, I'll just go with "challenging" instead.

I've been working on some ideas, and have called a few people, which has lead to more potential food writing ideas and contacts and so forth. Anyway, yesterday, my husband's friend put me in touch with this other writer and said we had to get together and would just love one another. Well, as it turns out in the course of awkward conversation, this "writer" used to work for W, Women's Wear Daily, Time, Harper's, etc. and is THE fashion writer in the US. And although she was nice, it was that kind of nice where you come away sad and shellshocked and overwhelmed. No one will ever want to read my stories. I'm too old to start this. No one will ever pay me to write. And I'll be a terrible waitress.

Today is the day I had set aside for compiling all these ideas and writing pitch letters. Only I can't do it. I feel tired and sad and weepy. Not exactly a day for inspiration. I've sat in front of this laptop all day, and accomplished nothing and all I want to do is go home and hold my nieces and go sit under a tree I don't have to walk 20 minutes to find. But I can't give up. I'm out here and I've GOT to find a job, and writing is the only thing I've ever been any good at, and if I don't do it now, I never will.

So, how do I shake this fear? How do I break into the circle?



Jenny said...

I don't know how you barrel past procrastination and fear but I do know that da-yum can write!

Andrew, I'm sitting said...

Write, damn it. And those of us who can will help you. That's about the only way.

Hope all else is well.

Jill said...

I've so been there. Hell, on some days I'm STILL there. Just promise you won't give up. Because I can promise that if you don't, it will happen. Just write. Sit your ass in the chair and write. The rest will come.

Marcheline said...


I don't know the answer, but I've been there before, and I am there currently... not the procrastination part, but the rest.

I don't know what's worse, procrastinating and having that to blame for one's lack of success, or going balls to the wall and trying outright, and still failing.

My only advice is - narrow down exactly what you are going for, and then go for it. "Writing" is such a general term. The whole world is too big to attack all at once - whittle it down to something you can bite off and chew.

- M

barbie2be said...

start with a little nibble, then if that feels right take a bigger bite. soon you will find you have eaten the whole burrito!

you can do it!

Jemima said...

You are SO California. You and your burritos!

barbie2be said...

oh, was it supposed to be an enchilada? ;) or perhaps a sushi roll?