On this last 'promotional' post of the year, I thought I would repost an article I wrote for the professional blog that seems to fit here since it talks about the many other ways you can get involved. Enjoy!
It's Just Fear Talking
There are many common ‘writerly’ fears, but nothing worth doing comes easily, or so it seems, so it makes sense that this also applies to the writing life. To quote writer Jeff Goins, “Do it afraid.” Good advice. Some of the best learning comes outside our comfort zones.
At the risk of sounding like an advertisement, there are plenty of ways to step into the discomfort zone right here within our organization. For instance, InScribe offers a variety of contests throughout the year, with judges ready, willing, and able to tear your darling entry to shreds.
Just kidding, of course! That last bit was FEAR talking. In reality, our judges are caring individuals who are unbiased, experienced, and truly have your best interests at heart. You’re a winner even if you don’t ‘win’ because they always give constructive feedback. If you’ve been afraid to enter a contest, why not do it this year?
Another opportunity that often causes anxiety is submitting a piece to one of our publications. Did you know that any member can submit to Fellowscript? You don’t need to wait to be solicited. Just follow the guidelines, take a deep breath, and hit ‘send’. The worst that could happen would be that the editor would laugh in your face and then email the rest of the executive so that everyone would know how preposterous you were to even think you could get something published.
No! Of course that’s not going to happen! Darn that FEAR. He keeps trying to get in your head. Instead, your piece might actually get accepted and they’ll even pay you for it. You may have to make some changes, but the editorial staff is made up of nice people. They’ll guide you through the process, and even if your piece doesn’t make it into that issue, they’ll probably offer some encouragement and suggestions for future submissions.
How about attending a writers’ conference? I’m surprised to hear how many people are fearful of attending their first conference because somehow they don’t feel worthy to hob-knob with ‘real’ writers. I have news. We’ve all been there. Of course, new attendees will be grilled about their publishing credits in front of the entire assembly and made to feel inadequate if they aren’t up to a certain standard.
Oh dear… FEAR has really crossed the line this time. While there may be certain individuals who operate this way at some conferences, this has not been my experience at an InScribe conference. Susan King, editor from The Upper Room, described the recent conference as ‘a party for the soul’. Conference is warm inviting, inclusive, and fun – just the kind of atmosphere to knock FEAR onto his butt.
*This post originally appeared on InScribe's professional blog on October 28, 2016.