We're all afraid of something. Sometimes those fears are rational, and sometimes they're not. But I think we can all agree that our fears hold us back. We become so afraid of what might go wrong, we don't chase all the amazing things that could go right. Writers and artists, in particular, can easily get tripped up by our fears—of rejection, failure, not measuring up to our standards or someone else's. Sometimes getting over a fear is a slow process. And sometimes you just have to count to three and do it.
I posted a writing exercise a while back about identifying traits that would make you an interesting character. In it, I mentioned a few of my fears:
So the first one isn't so much a fear as an intense loathing. I really don't like geese. I mean, come on, those critters are mean! They chase me while I'm running (I do not want to find out what happens if they catch you) and I swear once saw one hiss at a car. Not trying to hard to mark that one off.
I'm 99% sure the fear of dolls comes from the combination of seeing Chucky too young—and Toy Story.
Which brings us to rock walls. When I was little, we had a rock wall in our elementary school gym. I remember climbing onto that sucker, getting about two feet off the ground, and feeling my knees shaking like the inside of a rattle. I tried a few more times as I got older, but there was something about the feeling of being latched onto a wall that never sat right with me. I'd start shaking and freeze up.
I am not afraid of heights. I've looked over cliffs, and I love views like the one of Gatlinburg from the Space Needle. I climbed rope ladders with no problem. But rock walls were something else.
Victoria Griffin is an author and editor based in East Tennessee. She provides developmental and line editing for traditionally and independently publishing authors. Her short fiction has appeared in more than 40 publications, and she is represented by Sandy Lu of L. Perkins Agency.
She is the author of the workbooks Edit Like a Pro and Craft Your Query. She is also the owner of Blue Pen Publishing Services, which provides book design and branding services for independent authors. Email Victoria.