Are you afraid of success, dear writer?

Ever felt stuck in a rut when it comes to writing? You may be one of millions of writers who are afraid of success. You heard that right—you may actually be afraid of your own success.

But isn’t success a good thing? What’s there to be scared of? To quote an old cliché: with great power comes great responsibility, and your mind knows it. Maybe becoming well-known terrifies you on some level—as glamorous as it sounds to be a famous writer, let’s face it, baring your soul before millions could cripple anyone’s ambitions. Or perhaps you lack confidence in your ability to handle a drastically increased income.

And those are just fame and money concerns. What if your relationships suffer? What if your supercharged lifestyle causes a decline in health?

The fear is mostly subconscious, but it’s very real.

Keep in mind these are just a few of the infinite reasons that some people fear success. Even though many of these concerns are not well-founded, the fear ends up causing you to do things you shouldn’t do (and not to do things you should), and you end up veering way off course.

Here are three ways you may be hindering yourself:

By not having a plan. Too many writers think inspiration will strike any day now, and from there the road to authorship will be smooth, paved, and well-lit. Unfortunately, inspiration rarely comes when you’re simply waiting for it.

By not starting. So you’ve got this great idea for a book. Start! But…but… No buts, start today! If you keep telling yourself you’ll write a book “someday,” that’s exactly when you’ll do it—and years from now, it will still be a vague pipe dream. What could be sexier than starting on your novel today?

By not finishing. You may just be the type of person who has no trouble starting, but then find yourself getting discouraged along the way when you’re not making as much progress as you’d like. But remember, it takes a while to lay the groundwork, a lesson I learned from a recent construction project near my home.

So what’s the solution?

Get started! Stay on course! Don’t give up!

And give #365daynovel a try. If you’re serious about writing a novel, #365daynovel takes you from complete beginner to published, selling author, while helping you recognize your success along the way—with your own online Success Journal.

Here’s the link:
Learn more and try it out—today!

27 thoughts on “Are you afraid of success, dear writer?

  1. Great post! I’m was writer who started strong but didn’t finish the manuscript because I got discouraged! But I’ve noticed my flaw and this manuscript Is going really well and I’m confident!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you hit the nail right on the head. I was sad to discover it, but I am very afraid of success. I greatly fear doing anything that might give other people the chance to comment or tear apart my work. I am immensely fearful of success and I feel like I have never actually been successful in any of my endeavours. I guess I’ll just have to keep on writing just as I inspire others to do the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m far from being a famous writer, and sometimes I seriously doubt my ability to produce something unique, or extraordinary. And sometimes I wonder that if I do publish a work of mine, people might end up not liking it…yeah, so many possibilities. But this article is a pretty good reminder of how we shouldn’t be afraid of succeeding, neither of failing. Thanks!!


  4. Thank you for the kind but firm reminders, Tim! I remember hearing ‘it’s the start that stops you’, but I think that is speaking to fear as much as procrastination, and doubt haunts me throughout the process. I appreciate what you offer, especially when you are giving freely, even though I hope that there will be great abundance & monetary success for you & for all of us writers, creators, guides! Cheers, Jerri


  5. I’ve always written for my own release. It never occurred to me that others may enjoy it as well. So I created a style that flows without a beginning or an end in mind. This post is useful in polishing up my writing to be more readable for others. Thanks for taking the time to write this out,


  6. This is so timely for me, but not for the reasons you mentioned. For a long time I dreamed about getting published, writing book after book, studying structure and what made a bestseller. Then, when it actually happened, I froze. What if everyone hates it? It’s a crippling fear, and one I’m trying to overcome. But it’s not easy, that’s for sure.


  7. This is so relatable! I’ve realized that I’m afraid something I write will be successful and then people will look at me and say, so what’s next? And I’ll have nothing. I think I live terrified of the day the stories run out inside me, and that’s a horrible way to live!


  8. Reblogged this on Prompt Me and commented:
    This was a pretty good article. I am afraid of success but by being afraid it left me with nothing. No insight, no will to move forward and its such a hindrance. Fear in general is. My answer to being afraid of success was to start this blog. Blogging is my way to outrun fear and keep moving.


  9. This post is so true! Writers put so much of their inner selves into their writing that it’s scary to put it out there for others to read and maybe not like, much less love. We think it will be an attack on us, our writing, etc. For me, it’s more about the time spent on marketing. Do I really want to put that much into something that may not be successful monetarily? Also, thank you for following me!


  10. There is that part of me that says it’s best not to put a work out there where it might be rejected, and I could try to convince myself it would have been a success. But at some point you have to take that bold step.


  11. This is an awesome post! All the points are right on! I have tried two ways of writing: 1) just by whenever inspiration hit and; 2) take the time and map out everything. I found that even though it seems more fun writing using the first method, the second method makes it easier to finish a story (especially within a specific time frame).


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