Join (free) | Login 

     Popular! Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry
   Services MarketPlace (Free to post!)
Where Authors and Readers come together!

Signed Bookstore | Authors | eBooks | Books | Stories | Articles | Poetry | Blogs | News | Events | Reviews | Videos | Success | Gold Members | Testimonials

Featured Authors: Lannah Sawers-Diggins, iMyles Saulibio, iSteve Kerr, iA. Bell, iKH LeMoyne, iM.D. Wiselka, iAudrey Coatesworth, i
  Home > Education/Training > Articles
Popular: Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry     

Delma Luben

· Become a Fan
  Notify me of new titles
  added by this author.

· 124 titles
· 378 Reviews
· Share with Friends!
· Save to My Library
Member Since: Jan, 2006

   Contact Author
   Read Reviews

· Poems For Poets and Writers (out of print)

· Living, Loving, Life (out of print)

· The Protocol Officer Handbook (unavailable)

· The Freedom Nation

· The Other Sheep

· The Universal Experience

· Glorious Autumn, Love In Maturity

· The Writing World, Living The Literary Life

· You Are A Leader

· Late Great Literary Careers

· Imaginative Marketing

· What Does It Take?

· Writer's Treasure House

· You Are What You Think

· The Part That Luck Plays

· The First Commandment of Success

· Poetry For The Public

· Excellence Versus Perfection

· In Pursuit of Poetry

· Free To Fly

· Quality Time

· By Love

· Aging Gracefully

· Season of Grandeur

· The Golden Hour

· The Pioneers

· No Partialty

· The Final Destiny

         More poetry...
· ABI Recognition

· Double Winner

· Reviewing Service Listing

· Selected for 2009 Edition

· Recommended for Professional Membership

· Praise for Book

· Selected Poet of The Month

Delma Luben, click here to update your web pages on AuthorsDen.

The Four Letter Word For Failure
By Delma Luben
Last edited: Tuesday, January 03, 2012
Posted: Saturday, June 07, 2008

Share    Print   Save  Become a Fan
Recent articles by
Delma Luben

• You Are A Leader
• Late Great Literary Careers
• Imaginative Marketing
• Poetry For The Public
• Excellence Versus Perfection
• The Right To Read
• New Year Thoughts
           >> View all 14
Becoming a professional writer.



Delma Luben

When perusing an old Reader’s Digest anthology, Getting The Most Out of Life, I noted the frequency with which one four-letter word was negatively tagged: “the number one killer of confidence”... “the factor most detrimental to success” ... “the major reason for failure.” Three chapters addressed it exclusively.

In myriad books on all subjects, we find references to its debilitating power over our lives. Quotes about it are countless. Hundreds of articles on the subject appear in magazines every year. One dictionary used over 200 words to describe it. Everywhere, we find advice on how to face it, down it, overcome it ....

What is this griping malaise that blocks progress like no other, inhibits talent, prevents fulfillment, kills dreams-- most notably, dreams of a writing career?

It’s FEAR.

Fear of criticism, fear of ridicule, fear of rejection…Constantly fighting this saboteur, aspiring authors cry out for help to squelch it. Enticed by titles like “”Do The Thing You Fear,” How I found Freedom From Fear,” “The Conquest of Fear,” they run down every suggested remedy-- firmly convinced that the professionals have conquered it-- that, whatever their early symptoms, surely they no longer suffer.

Not true . Although recognized accomplishment (appearing in print) is the best medicine for the malady, most eminent writers maintain that they were never cured.

In Conquest of Happiness, Bertrand Russell confirmed that “no amount of recognition entirely eliminates the ailment.” Plenty of money doesn’t cure it either. In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill asks, “How many of the six ghosts of fear are standing in your way?” And FDR’s famous after Pearl Harbor quote, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” revealed a president’s concern that the wide spread contagion could cripple a nation’s ability to protect itself.

At that time, everybody could especially relate to fear, so the statement was often repeated. And the American president was credited with astute advice. But the thought was not original. His speech writers had simply paraphrased two well-known authors:

 “The thing of which I have most fear is fear" -- Montaigne
“Nothing is so much to be feared as fear,” -- Thoreau

Throughout history, fear has inhibited literary creativity. No writer ever escaped insecurity, worry, and doubt. Even Shakespeare said, “Our traitor doubts make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.”

And beginning writers-- facing the critical editor, the unknown pitfalls of publishing, and what they don’t know about selling-- are especially vulnerable.

 However (think about it) what is the worst that could happen? Most mistakes we make will be correctable; certainly, they won’t be fatal. On the other hand, lack of faith in our ability not only causes inaction; but deters development of our talent. The worst that could happen is never daring.

Consider the case of this former student of mine. Ever dreaming instead of doing, periodically taking another writing course, another, and another (not quite ready to play the game) she vegetated her "writing life" away. Now, after twenty years of inaction, a basket-case of literary anxieties, unfulfilled and unhappy, she no longer even dreams....

After a reasonable stretch of study and practice, it’s time to trust your inner knowing, and forge ahead. So you strike out a time or two; it’s better than stagnating. And down the line you’ll discover that many mistakes can not only be corrected, but built on. Recognized blunders are great eye-openers. Every novice fighting butterflies needs to know that even those who made it to the pinnacle didn’t necessarily triumph over fear; they simply refused to let fear win.

In his last interview the late Robert Davies, called “Canada’s most lauded man of letters,” let his admirers, and the world, in on his secret struggle. He said that he had always been foolishly afraid of criticism, that his self-confidence had often been shattered by fear. But finally, he learned to tune his fears out-- and let his dreams balloon above them.

Fear in one form or another is always lurking around writers. So whether you're standing on the edge of the writing world, or on the edge of success, make up your mind to ignore the whole regiment: fear of the blank page, the computer, the editor, the critic-- fear that they'll tell you the truth, fear that they won't... Inundated with these thoughts, anticipating rejection and embarrassment rather than praise, like the "downer" drug routine, becomes an iron clad habit.

Wondering if we are unknowing, if we don't understand procedures, if our ideas won't work-- or we won't have any more... Every accomplished author, whose success the beginner envies, originally fought these fear ogres before they learned to ignore them.

“Live and learn,” is the true st of truisms. Life is a learning laboratory-- and failure our best teacher. Former Writer's Digest columnist Art SPikel, once said, “There’s no way of calculating how many terrific writers sat back and allowed inactivity (out of fear) to make them anonymous.”

If you don’t want to be anonymous, remember the power of that four-letter word-- the widely recognized "greatest killer of confidence." And while you're still procrastinating, going over and over every piece, checking and re-checking, you may discover you're better than you think. Certainly, faint heart is not a winner. So after you do your best, dare to take the chance. Welcome the education of trial and error.

And release your talent from the restriction of fear.

                                        * * * * *

Delma Luben, author of THE WRITING WORLD, Living The Literary Life, contributing editor WRITERS WORLD MAGAZINE, producer/host of "The Writing World" TV show, and "Poetry for the Public" on radio, is internationally published in both prose and poetry.






Want to review or comment on this article?
Click here to login!

Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!

Books by
Delma Luben

The Freedom Nation

Buy Options

The Other Sheep

Buy Options
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..

Glorious Autumn, Love In Maturity

Buy Options
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..

The Writing World, Living The Literary Life

Buy Options
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..

The Universal Experience

Buy Options
Amazon, more..

The Protocol Officer Handbook (unavailable)

Poems For Poets and Writers (out of print)

Education/Training Articles
  1. Through the Eyes of a Rapist
  2. The Approaching 100th Anniversary of the H
  3. Did You Know?
  4. Tips for Success on AuthorsDen
  5. Are You a Conservative?
  6. Something to think about...
  7. Duality: The Trees of Mythology pt. 2
  8. The Messy Paradigm Shift in Understanding
  9. Pay Attention To The Details
  10. Don't Be Fooled Again
  11. High Output Evaluation Review: Introducing
  12. 20 Writing Tips for Better Results
  13. Another Debt Ceiling Crisis...
  14. Do you suffer from Imposters Syndrome?
  15. Did You Know?
  16. Head Hopping Loses Readers!
  17. The Astrological Attributes of Peace
  18. Writing Techniques - Character POV
  19. Kindle Books
  20. 2-Way Mirrors (VOYEURS)

You can also search authors by alphabetical listing: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Featured Authors | New to AuthorsDen? | Add AuthorsDen to your Site
Share AD with your friends | Need Help? | About us

Problem with this page?   Report it to AuthorsDen

AuthorsDen, Inc. All rights reserved.