What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid? Writer’s Edition.

It’s a simple question, but I found it tucked into Sheryl Sandberg’s wisdom when I was reading LEAN IN a couple years ago and it’s never left me. Whenever things seem overwhelming this simple question takes us back to the heart of our passion and the reason for our struggles.

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

For many people reading this blog it will be: finish their novel, send out some queries, tackle the revise-and-resubmit letter from an agent, join a critique group, sign up for author head shots, attend a writer’s conference–or something along those lines.

However, when you frame it like a question it becomes painfully obvious that you don’t need permission to achieve your dreams. They’re hiding inside of you and no amount of force is going to get them to escape. Writing doesn’t happen by chance, it happens by discipline and all you have to do is change your outlook from all the worries fogging your path, to all the opportunities paving the way.

My invitation for you to write or forge ahead into publishing fearlessly isn’t a blessing you need. It’s a confirmation that if you develop a framework for your life that has no opportunity to fail then you will only succeed.

-You decide what your idea of success is.

-You decide if you’re going to set yourself up to achieve.

-You decide if you bring negativity to your dreams.

Guess what? We all doubt ourselves. And yes, we will all fail at some point, but if we weren’t afraid of failure and reminded ourselves that rejections and struggles are part of living a passionate, creative life doesn’t that already seem easier?

Q: We’re half way through 2015 (crazy, I know!) so what are you going to do in the second half of the year to lead a fearless life?


Want more? Follow the If You Weren’t Afraid Tumblr.

Published by Carly Watters

Carly Watters is a SVP, senior literary agent and director of literary branding with the P.S. Literary Agency. She is a hands-on agent that develops proposals and manuscripts with attention to detail and the relevant markets. PSLA’s mission is to manage authors’ literary brands for their entire career. Never without a book on hand she reads across categories which is reflected in the genres she represents and is actively seeking new authors in including women’s fiction, commercial and upmarket fiction, select literary fiction, platform-driven non fiction and select memoir. She occasionally represents children's book projects. Carly is drawn to emotional, well-paced narratives, with a great voice and characters that readers can get invested in.

11 thoughts on “What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid? Writer’s Edition.

  1. Hi Carly, I went ahead and published my collection of stories. So I’ve been marketing and learning some new ropes. Of course I am editing and working on my novel concurrently–and will fearlessly be querying soon. Life goes quickly and you have to make decisions and fly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My goal in the second half of 2015 is to sign with an agent. When I started the year it was to have a book deal, but it’s only once you start querying that you realize just how long this whole process takes! I’m stoked with positive responses so far, though, so I’m going to keep plugging away.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this: “Writing doesn’t happen by chance, it happens by discipline and all you have to do is change your outlook from all the worries fogging your path, to all the opportunities paving the way.” Really inspiring!

    My goal is to publish the second book in my Kindred series, and to do more marketing for the first one.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks Carly, what a wonderful and timely post. I have been reflecting on these very thoughts of late – even going as far as hiring a ‘Intuitive Career Guidance Coach’ (there is such a thing, you know!). I discovered that any writing/publishing fears where actually ‘life’ fears.

    So, in answer to your question – the rest of 2015 looks pretty much like this:

    Space – learning to slow down to allow more confident and steady strides ahead
    Trust – if something feels wrong, it probably is however, if it feels ‘scary’ then it’s probably right
    Honour – creating stories, discovering stories and selling stories is ultimately creating escapism. Creativity needs to be honoured… escapism saves lives!
    Fun – taking the foot off the gas, enjoying the journey, reveling in imagination. loving the process, and as you said, developing a framework for my life that has no opportunity to fail.

    Let’s see what happens…

    Many thanks for your thought provoking piece x

    Liked by 1 person

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