December 5 Journal Prompt: What Are Your Fears?

What in Life Scares You?

In part of knowing yourself as a writer and as a person, knowing what scares you is a great way of understanding what might act as a block in your life. Of course there are survival fears, such as earthquakes, lightning, being mugged, scorpions, etc. But a lot of times we have fears that have to do with social status, with our families, with our work. These things aren’t survival fears, but culturally constructed fears. In our evolved world where we have less to be morally afraid of, these non-life-threatening fears are just as valid.

Don’t take councel from your Fear

James Faust

Knowing what it is in life that scares you can do two things:

  1. It can inspire your writing, creating writing prompts
  2. It can help you develop more multi-facetted characters
  3. Most importantly, they can serve to block your writing and your path to success.

Fears as Blocks

Especially for writers who are just starting out, there is a lot of fear. Our fears can make or break us. They can work as something to motivate us into action, or they can stop us dead in our tracks by keeping us from starting on our goals, finishing our goals, or even from releasing our goals into the world.

Fear of Commitment Lies Behind the Fear of Writing

Hilary Mantel

Journal Prompt

Spend some time making a list of what scares you. This can be general phobias you have (heights, flying (that’s mine), spiders, trains, fires, etc.) but also the fears that keep you up at night.

Are you afraid of what people will think if they find out you write romance? Are you afraid of what people will think if you tell them that you write at all? Are you afraid to start writing because you think it will take away from your family? Are you afraid to start writing because it might affect your job? Are you afraid of self-publishing because of the costs?

Write down every fear that you can think of and then rank it from worst to not so bad, 1 being the worst.

Spend some time with this list. Spend time journaling and asking yourself what each of these fears is doing to block your path. Are they preventing you from writing? Are they preventing you from finishing your projects? Are they enough to make you give up the idea of writing at all?

For many of the fears you come up with, you’ll find that they either aren’t as big of a deal as you think they are, or they’re an excuse. However, there are of course some that run deep, and you need to spend time working through these fears as well.

Untracable Image credit – Pinned from POPSUGAR, though the post has since been taken down

Unless we are faced with mortal danger, fear does little to serve us in this world. Fear triggers our fight or flight response, and when we’re in a work meeting and afraid, we can do neither, and thus we have to sit with the fear, doing nothing. This can make us sick.

The purpose of today’s journal prompt is to see what fears that aren’t serving you, and to help you begin to consider a plan to dissolve or sidestep that which you are afraid of.

Fear is a prompt not a block.
Writers as me all the time how they can overcome their worst fears. my prescription is always the same: Figure out what you’re most afraid of and write about that. Don’t stop until you’ve put it all on the page. When you use your fear as a prompt it loses its power to block

Bryan Hutchinson, Writer’s Doubt

December Offer

January is a time of starting fresh, of setting up good habits to begin the new you.

Through December, to get excited and ready for January, I’m offering a Free 1-hour session in addition to any monthly package or the 6-month package.

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Published by

Nicola Thompson

Born and raised in the Pacific North West (Washington State to be specific), I'm currently living on a farm, raising chickens, and writing in North Yorkshire. A former editor of Durham University's online magazine, The Bubble, I also write for the magazine Carpe Nocturne, and have several short stories published in a variety of anthologies.

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