Written by Tambra Nicole Kendall April 25, 2020
This blog post is aimed at writers. My goal for this article is to make writers aware of a topic that concerns anyone who is working in the area of the arts. The slant of this post leans toward writers who plan to submit their work to a publisher and the fear of rejection.
So, you want to be a writer but you’re afraid. I understand why you’re afraid. Your words, your heart, have bled onto the page and now you feel naked, raw, and uncomfortable. This is the sacrifice we make to touch the soul of the reader. If you haven’t noticed, fear of rejection and guilt are the mud puddles writers wallow in often.
When I meet people and they’ve asked what I do, many have flippantly said, “I’ve always wanted to write a book, but I don’t have the time. You don’t work, why don’t you write it for me?” The arrogance of this attitude astounded me.
People, this is NOT a compliment. Unless this is a person who has had something extraordinary happen in their lives and you’re a ghost writer searching for an interesting story this attitude is rude as hell.
That person is telling you that their time is more valuable than yours and that isn’t true. It’s insulting. I nicely but firmly, tell those people I have enough projects of my own. Since it’s their story, they need to write it using their description and words. People can be lazy control freaks, don’t let them bully you.
Attitudes in American society have conditioned people to view the arts in a negative manner. This spills down into families affecting the writer on a personal level.
Some people are afraid to let anyone know they’re creative. The attitudes and conditioning of American society. places importance on sports and science. The arts is given the middle finger and this point of view is handed down from generation to generation. The situation could prove too stressful and the writer has hidden behind fear. American society needs to stop treating artists and creatives like we’re leftover puppy kibble. You are not less as a person because you’re creative. What you create has value.
Just before I graduated from high school, I wanted to attend The Art Institute of Houston and take their advertising courses. When I told my Dad about the school he was furious and adamant that I continue learning secretarial skills because that’s what he decided I should do. I had no way to get to AI of Houston since the car I was driving was his and if I had found to attend, he would have thrown me out of the house. Had he kicked me out I would never have been able to return. I tried to figure out a way to be able to go but there were no options.
Still, I continued to sketch and searched for a way to make my dreams come true of being an author and illustrator. After I married and had kids, I found a local writing group and took art lessons from an amazing Houston area artist, Dana Schoppa. She was the only supporter of my art and I will always treasure my friendship with her. I was afraid of so much back then, but Dana gave me courage and I learned from her that it isn’t the end of the world if you make a mistake. I will always be grateful to her and the blessing she is in my life.
Writing, fine art, illustrating, sewing, pottery etc., is important to society. When there’s a tragedy, writers, artists and art therapists are called upon to help heal the wounds. We are a viable, contributing force to our communities, our nation, the world. Words are powerful.
When I started writing seriously, I had a full-time job, two boys in elementary school and an abusive, alcoholic husband. Not an ideal environment to write in or do much of anything, but somehow, I’ve managed to learn how to write stories that have touched readers and made them happy. I continue to study and learn and probably always will.
Fear ruled me for so many years I refuse to give in and give it anymore of my time. When I find myself falling into its trap, I remind myself of what I’ve accomplished so far because I stopped living in a state of fear.
IF YOU WANT TO WRITE, DO IT. If you submit your story and get rejected either resubmit to another publisher or find out what’s wrong and fix it.
Writing is not for the faint of heart. If it were easy everyone would be doing it. Writing is personal and creative, but it’s also a business for most authors. There are resources to assist a pensmith’s if the business part of writing scares you. Professional organizations are a great place to start gathering information and networking.
There’s nothing stopping a person from writing for themselves or their immediate circle of family and close friends. Everyone has their own focus and interest and none of the choices are wrong. Children’s literature isn’t better than mysteries or romance, its all about your personal interest. Fear has slithered its tentacles into this mindset. Don’t fall for it.
Fear paralyzes and you don’t get anything done. It’s pointing its finger at you and laughing. You fell into its trap.
The fear of rejection can paralyze people. I’ve heard some writers talk about the fear that someone in their family won’t like what they write: they don’t have to read your work and it isn’t their business what you write. People are always trying to make something about themselves when it isn’t about them at all. It all about control. Just like the story I told about my Dad refusing to let me go to art school. That was pure control freak behaviour.
There are a million and one excuses wearing the ever-changing mast of fear waiting to catch you in a weak moment and stop you from the joy of writing. Create a workable, yet, fluid plan. Having a writing road map gives you an idea of where you want to go and how you’re going to get there.
Remember, writers write.
Sending healing hugs and light,