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I once asked over fifty writers what their biggest fear was. Can you guess what the most popular answer was? It shouldn’t be hard. You’re probably afraid of the same thing.

Rejection.

Fear

Photo by Ibrahim Iujaz

We’re afraid our story—the one we’ve been working on for years—won’t be taken seriously. Worse, we’re afraid our work will be ignored completely. Sometimes, we’re so afraid of rejection we even avoid writing our story in the first place.

How do you deal with and the fear of failure and rejection?

Lean Into the Fear

What most successful people in every industry know is that you can’t avoid fear. In fact, you shouldn’t try.

Yesterday, I gave an live Q&A about the upcoming Story Cartel Course, and beforehand I was petrified. I’m not a great public speaker, and the possibility of rejection and failure loomed before me. I wanted to cancel it, and kept thinking of excuses. “No one is going to show up, anyway. What’s the point of this? This isn’t worth the pressure.”

However, the fear actually made me better. Fear motivates you to practice. Because of my fear, I prepared more. I made more of an effort to connect with the audience. I thought harder about how to do the best I could with the limited skill I had.

Fear makes you better. Don’t avoid it. Instead, lean in. (Share that on Twitter?)

Don’t Try To Be Unrejectable

We are all scared. However, what separates successful writers from wannabe writers is what they do in the midst of their fear. They lean in. They don’t run. They don’t fight. They do the right thing, the thing they said they were going to do in the first place.

Seth Godin says, “Write more, write better, share often. It’s entirely possibly you’re not good. But the key word that’s missing is, ‘yet.’”

You’re job isn’t to be unrejectable. Your job is to share your story.

PRACTICE

Write something you’re scared to write today.

Write for fifteen minutes. When your time is up, share your practice in the comments section. And if you share, be sure to give feedback to a few other writers.

Have fun!

Joe Bunting
Joe Bunting
Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris, a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. You can follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).
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