IWSG · Writing

IWSG: Creativity is in Your Control.

For the past few weeks I’ve been feeling a bit like a rabbit caught in the headlights; I’d like to move forward with my writing, but fear keeps me in place. I’m planning on self-publishing this year and with every small step forward I tend to come to an abrupt halt. Lately, I began to worry about things that were out of my control.

Once our work is out there, there are a lot of expectations that go along with it. With all the pressure on writers to maintain a regular output, I worry that I may not be able to meet that expectation of others. Once I press that ‘publish’ button (which is my greatest fear of all), I fear I will be proven correct that I’m not as good at this writing gig as I think I might be.

It was fortunate then, that I made a few recent discoveries. I read a recent article on JA Konrath’s blog on why your book marketing plan won’t work. I found it an interesting read from someone who has made a success from self-publishing and there are plenty of things to consider. Not only did I get some good advice, but one of the big takeaways I got from it was to stop worrying about what was out of your control.

The other discovery was while I listened to an interview with author Jane Harper on the podcast, So You Want to be a Writer? (yeah, it was a while ago, but I’ve been a bit behind 😉). She mentioned a talk she had given where she gives advice to other creatives. I’ve found her advice helpful and have included the video of it below. She, too, advises to concentrate on the things you can control.

As recently as last week, it took me about fifteen minutes to write an short email of a few lines to my editor, asking for an endorsement for one of my short stories. Yes, I agonised over every word, but I sent it anyway, coming to the decision that there was no harm in asking. I received a reply that same day, saying simply ‘Of-course!’ (Happy Dance! 😊)

Fear has held me back my entire life and I tend to agonise over many things, yet I have found over the years that sometimes when I ignore the fear and do it anyway, things are not half as bad as I thought they would be. The saying is true that ‘there is nothing to fear but fear itself’.

We can’t control if other people will like our writing or not and if they don’t, then perhaps, they’re not our audience. Focusing on what we can control, that is our writing, makes for a less stressful and more enjoyable journey.

Do you worry about things out of your control? Have you found that ‘there is nothing to fear but fear itself’? Have you found advice recently that has helped you to move forward?

The purpose of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.

Main image courtesy of Pixabay

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8 thoughts on “IWSG: Creativity is in Your Control.

  1. I’m a control freak/worrier, so I chronically worry about things out of my control. And in my control. And everything in between. I’m also an indie author who’s probably the slowest writer on the face of the earth, so I just have to accept that I’ll never match the output of others. I try to live by the immortal words of Tina Fey—Do your thing and don’t care if they like it. Somedays, it’s easier to do that than others, but keeping that mantra in mind does help me.

    Congratulations on taking those steps, however small. It’s a hard thing to do, and I applaud your efforts. Best of luck to you!

    1. Thank you M.J! I like that quote from Tina and lately, I have been trying to do just that. I think part of my problem is reading too much ‘advice’ about being an indie author, that it just becomes overwhelming. My husband tells me to take the advice with a pinch of salt and just go with what I think works best for me. I know it can be easier said than done, but I’m working on it! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  2. Yep, I can relate. I’ll be self-publishing this year. It’s taken me way too long to get to this stage and it’s all because of my fears. I came to the conclusion that nothing really matters except to do the best I can do. Everything else can be fixed, changed, removed or ignored. 😉 Nothing is set in stone. And with self publishing, we can go at whatever pace we want.

    1. Hi Lynda. That’s one of the good things about self-publishing – that we can change things if we want. Being a perfectionist certainly doesn’t help! 😉 My real problem is pushing that ‘send’ button and just letting it go. I just need to learn to do that and move on; what’s done is done. I agree that we can only do our best. Thank you for stopping by. 🙂

  3. This really hit home for me as I have let fear hold me back so many times in life. I thought I had conquered that but then it started creeping back up again and getting in my way. Trying again to overcome it.
    Thanks for sharing the advice that was helpful for you!

    1. Hi Julie. It’s good to know I’m not alone in this as I go through similar cycles. It’s a bit like riding a wave:- plenty of highs and lows and a few moments of calm before catching the next one. It’s good to see you back on board! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

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