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June 24, 2011


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Maureen O. Betita

Wow, do I know fear! Fear is a pack of wild dogs, you can run from them or run with them. Because way back in our primitive self, fear meant you froze when the sabertooth stalked by...hoping he didn't see you. Listen to fear, but be selective. Sometimes its a sabertooth out there, sometimes its not.

Yeah, fear. Hey, it's fight, flight or freeze.


"An entire animal kingdom"--so true, and all the animals have lizard tails. Thanks, Donna. This is such timely advice for me.

Donna Cummings

Maureen, you're right about fear running in packs. LOL And I'd say most of the time fear makes us think we're facing a sabertooth, and it does make us freeze. That's when we have to use our creative imaginations for good -- to scare off the fear so we can move forward again!

Donna Cummings

Janga, love the lizard tails! It makes me think of a sci fi program where they're human-ish on the outside, but not on the inside--no wonder we're afraid, and suspicious. LOL

I'm glad it was timely. I hope it helps fight off the beasts today. :)


This post is always timely for me since I've been dealing with this from day 1 and it's never really gone away!

I'm doing much better but since this is my first book - which apparently the whole publishing world believes will never/should never see the light of day - it makes me fearful of evening continuing to write it. But, I have to get this one done so I can work on a supposedly "real" one. :(

Donna Cummings

Sabrina, you can't listen to the naysayers! There are plenty of people who sell their first book, the first time out. So don't fall prey to the fear monsters. They're doing everything they can to halt you in your tracks!

Thank them for their contribution and go back to writing. Every book you write is a "real" one, and I'm looking forward to reading it. :)

Leigh Michaels

Great post, Donna. I have a note on my computer right now that says, "focus on process, not outcome" -- reminding me to concentrate on the writing, and not fret whether it's good until after the words are on the page!

anita clenney

I think it was Roosevelt who said, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." But fear is crippling, and it comes in so many forms. We all grapple with it, one way or another. It hits writer hard because this is an uncertain business.

This is an example that applies to writers. My daugher is on the All Star softball team but she's very new at softball. They were just short a player. :) But she's afraid to bat, even though she can do it. She keeps standing there waiting for the perfect pitch. Finally, the coach told her, "If you don't strike, you're guaranteed not to hit that ball. You have to try." We have to do the same as writers. Forget the fears building into a monster behind us. If we don't try, we're GUARANTEED not to get published.

Donna Cummings

Leigh, that's a great reminder! It's too easy to get bogged down in the "is it good enough?" fear, and it will suck you right down. I will use these words as guidance today too. Thanks for sharing them!

Donna Cummings

Anita, you're so right about the uncertainty being the source of so many of our fears. And I love the softball coach's advice--that really does apply to writers. Thank God for the delete key. LOL If we swing and miss, we can always erase and start over with something else. :)

Tracy Brogan

Another wonderful post, Donna! I have found that when we doubt ourselves, we can always find people to agree with us! So we have to acknowledge the fear and push past it. Be proud of the 'effort' if not the end product - because we are always learning to write 'better.' Thanks for sharing!

Donna Cummings

Thanks, Tracy -- I think you guys have been adding such great advice in the comments! You're right about finding people who will agree with our doubts. :( Acknowledging the fear and moving past it really is the best way to do it. Running works too. LOL

Terri Osburn

Great blog and lots of great comments. Love the softball one. That is so right and I relate since I grew up playing softball. It's always better to go down swinging. :)

The fear has subsided a bit for me these days, but it's early yet. I've just hit my stride feeling like I might know what I'm going. Then again, if I'm at this same point in five years, that fear will be back with a vengeance, I'm sure of it.

Donna Cummings

Terri, lots of great advice here today! The fear ebbs and flows, which is why it's tricky to think we've completely vanquished it. It just finds another area to worm its way into. LOL The important thing is to keep working, keep writing, keep improving. It means we'll have lots of stories to brandish in the face of our fears when they try to return!

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