28 May

Fear of Regrets

Do you fear failure? So do I. But more than that, I fear regrets.

Fear of Regrets

I hear it all the time, at retreats where I teach, at local critique groups, on blogs — I’m afraid to submit, because I might get rejected. Yes. So what?

Any professional writer has stories about the worst rejection they ever got. Mine is about a novel that was rejected by an editor with whom I had already worked. Said editor held on to the project for 14 months. 14! All the while, saying that a decision would be made at any time, with the implication being that a contract would be forthcoming. 14 months! THEN, it was rejected. For a week, I just sat at my desk, read Art and FearArt & Fear again, and cried.

Then, I stiffened my back and got back to work.

Because what I fear the most is regrets. I fear getting to the end of my life and looking back and wishing that I’d tried harder, that I’d sent out that mss one more time. I fear regretting that I didn’t revise that story I love at least one more time, that I didn’t commit to it enough to keep on trying. I fear that I’ll fail the perseverance test. I fear regrets. If only. . .

Failure? It comes with the job. If you don’t like it, then you’re part of the wrong species.

Fear of regrets? I can do something about that.

I can write. I can revise. Again.

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