Friday Speak Out!: Fear and the New Writer

Friday, February 16, 2018
by Tiffany Connolly

Fear is a dichotomous entity; it grips my resolve and simultaneously propels me in the right direction. As a “new” woman writer, fear of being judged, being boring, or of creating meaningless discourse is what holds me back from really putting myself out there.

I put “new” in quotation marks because I have successfully engaged in multiple forms of writing my entire life, but only now am I beginning to put effort into introducing my writing to an audience and to hopefully turning writing into a full-time career.

Combatting my self-doubt is a conscious effort that involves being present and mindful of my fear. Fear can hold a special place in the drive toward success; It gives me the determination to produce meaningful content, to seek the right audience and to focus my tenacity in the right direction. I am beginning to learn to use my fear as a catalyst to finding success and not letting it drown me in negative inner dialogue or writing apathy. Grappling with fear and self-doubt requires me to open up to its potential and appreciate it for what it’s worth, without letting it control me. I do my best not to become enveloped in my fear but to be mindful of it; a watcher of my own diffidence. In this way I can analyze its source and question its outcome; inevitably coming to the realization that what I should fear most is not writing, not going public with my words.

My first step in battling this inner turmoil is to join with a group of writers like myself. As a mom to a two year old, fear isn’t the only thing holding me back, it’s lack of time. I’ve begun replacing the phrase, “I don’t have time for (insert any activity here)”, with “(said activity) isn’t a priority” in all areas of my life; with health, work, family, creativity, etc. In essence, that means I am saying that when I don’t have time to write, I am saying that “writing is not a priority”. Well, writing is a priority. And fear can be a heavy beast, but when we harness it and direct it in a positive direction, we become unstoppable.

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Tiffany Connolly is a freelance writer, educator and mother to an inquisitive and rambunctious toddler. She runs an online community of writer-moms, Scribble ‘n Scribe, whose mission is to inspire and encourage moms to carve out time to hone their craft ( Tiffany graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor’s degree in Art History where she contributed to the school’s newspaper, The Daily Bruin and received her Master’s in Education from Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. She currently teaches high school English in Truckee, CA, where she moonlights as a bass player in an all-girl 90’s cover band.
Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


Angela Mackintosh said...

Tiffany ~ I applaud you for facing your fears and declaring that you're a writer to the world. That's an important step! I also love your replacement sentence, which is so true. As writers, if we say we don't have time for writing, what we're really saying is we don't have time for ourselves. Your online community of writer-moms sounds like a great motivator. And your 90s all-girl cover band sounds awesome. Good luck with moving towards becoming a full-time writer. You can do it! Thanks for the post. :)

Margo Dill said...

As the mom of a 7 year old, I know it is hard to find time to write. I like the way you are going to make writing priority. I enjoyed your post. Best of luck to you!

Renee Roberson said...

I am the mother of a 12-year-old and 14-year-old and if I hadn't faced my fears of perfectionism years ago, and made writing a priority in my life, I wouldn't be the writer I am today. My kids respect my writing and are proud of me for it. Bravo to your for taking this important step and creating a community for like-minded writers. Your cover band sounds awesome!

Jami said...

Tiffany, I really appreciated your post. I've been grappling with my own relationship with Fear and how it both hinders and helps me pursue my writing goals.

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