Back in the early ages, fear was something that helped humans to survive until the next day. If there wasn’t fear, our ancestors would’ve been eaten by a tiger or any other dangerous predator that lived around them in given time. Therefore, fear was our friend.

How about now? Is fear still something that we need on daily basis? Is fear still our friend? Is fear still saving our lives or is it making them worse?

Emotional labor

Let’s look at the writers and other creative people. What’s their job?

Right, writers tell stories?

What is the purpose of a story?

To elicit emotion within the recipient. It’s the same with numerous other professions; artists, musicians, dancers, sculptors, life coaches, video creators, podcasters and many others.

Therefore, creative people are doing the emotional labor and on the contrary to the physical labor fear is something that creatives shouldn’t be facing on a daily basis, but for some reason we are.

What is there to be afraid of?

Basically,  of nothing. Our lives are not endangered at any given moment of creation.

There are exceptions, of course.

If you are a journalist and you are writing from a war zone. Or maybe, you are writing about something that might touch some fundamentalist organizations; they might consider harming you, but usually, they will just complain.

In numerous other situations, the fear which writers and other creatives face can be considered as nonsense.

The most common type of fear 

The fear of shame is probably the most common among all creatives.

At some point, the fear of shame might even seem reasonable; as an artist, you are showing the world something that you’ve created and the world is going to judge it, whether you like it or not. The biggest threat that you get is that if they don’t like your work, you will see yourself as a failure.

You should know that you cannot please everybody and you should know that there will be people who are going to hate your work and they are going to speak about it.

It is going to hurt

  • Some will send you a message, which is private, and no other people will see it, but it is still going to hurt.
  • The others will leave a comment; this one is going to hurt. 
  • The last group is going to review your product, give you one star and if it comes with a text, it is going to break your heart.

But, it is not going to kill you and you are not going to kill anyone

Remember, you are not in a danger of falling from the rooftop like construction workers are; there is no danger of killing a couple of hundred of people like pilots are.

But, why are we afraid then?

  • You probably think that it is going to hurt your feelings. 
  • You are afraid that you might lose your reputation.
  • You are afraid that you might lose status.
  • You are afraid that you might lose credentials.

But, can this really cut off your will to create?

It can and it will if you let it.  So, don’t let it. Remember, it’s nonsense, it’s irrational and here is why:

Take a look at any famous novel. As a matter of fact,  let’s take a look at what critiques and other writers consider to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest novel of all times – War and Peace.

Let’s find it at GoodReads and check its ratings.

It has 6227 one-star reviews. Imagine, 6227 people hated the greatest novel of all time! 11022 hated it, but not as much as the others. What makes you think that you should expect anything better?

That shouldn’t stop you from putting out the work to the world

You must understand that different people have different tastes.

Also, people are more prone to criticising and leaving negative reviews then to give price and compliments. Therefore, you must face the fact that there are some people who are going to hate your work and you mustn’t take it personally.

The easiest way to help yourself is to acknowledge the fact that your work simply isn’t meant for everybody. It’s for those who give you 4 and 5-star reviews. It’s meant for people who you can impact and change. That should be your main focus and you should be happy about it.

Go out there and create something great today

Remember, every time you face the blank screen, or canvas, or empty SD card of your camera, it’s fear that’s stopping you from doing your work. You are afraid that people won’t like the idea that you have, the novel that you’re writing, the movie that you are filming.

Just ignore it. It won’t kill you, it might hurt you if you let it, but you should do the best work you can and create for people who like what you do. You create for your ideal reader, the ideal listener,…

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