The Demon Fear

You have a great idea for a poem, a story, an essay, an article, a book, or a novel, but you hesitate to write it. Why?

Fear is the key to a writer's procrastination, hesitation, and dawdling. It is the obstacle to production and success. So, what can a writer do about it?

1. A writer can face it head on and admit it. Once admitted, it can be dealt with it. Of course, writers are fearful of failure, of ridicule, and of derision. Even though they do not admit it, they are fearful of what other think of them, especially editors and even readers. Writers, like everyone, fear most those they do not know and who do not know them.

2. Writers fear their lack of ability, their capability with the English language, their understanding of subject matter, their lack of knowledge of the publishing world, and, primarily, their confidence in themselves.

3. Writers fear those who appear more intelligent than they are, those that are more successful than they are, those that seem more confident than they are, and those who have a facility that they do not have.

So, what is the answer? The answer is to attempt to put that great idea into words, to capture the essence of our concept, to forge ahead without thought of consequences. However, the writer says, that is not easy. Right! It is not easy; it requires fortitude, perseverance, and even daring, but to succeed as a writer, it must be done. If that great idea is to come to fruition, it must be written. Writers cannot let the fear of failure become inertia.

Writers must sit at his or her desk or computer and start putting the words to paper or screen. That is the only way to overcome your fear.

Charles O. Goulet has a BA in English literature. He has published several books that are available at,, and many other book stores

In The News:

Opinion | Why I Write  The New York Times
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