The One Thing That Keeps You From Success

I am a coward.

I sat down with an author friend in a coffee shop last week. After sharing stories, she asked what my next step would be. I knew what I’m supposed to say —follow up with agents and publishers who expressed interest in my book— but instead I hesitated.

“Well?” my friend said. “When are you going to submit the book?”

Time froze. In that instant I felt only the panic gnawing its way up my spine. “I don’t know.”

I’ve been writing for twenty years, and working toward publication for ten years, but still I found myself paralyzed. Uncertain if I could actually do this.

The only way for me to succeed is to move forward. Move past my mental roadblocks and conquer the irrational fears that paralyze me.

I’ve passed the stage where I can afford to hesitate. Either I move now and take this giant crazy terrifying mortifying exhilarating amazing dream horror of a step…or forever lose the opportunities that have been offered my book.

More and more I’m learning that other writers are not our competition— but we are our own competition. We slack off, we hesitate, we doubt, we are our own worst adversaries.

You are the greatest obstacle your writing has to face.

“Come on,” you’re saying. “This doesn’t apply to me. I would never be crazy enough to miss a chance like this.”

But what are your fears? Dig deep. Probe into everything that makes you afraid. Are you scared of rejection? Evil reader reviews? Maybe a sense that your writing will never measure up? Maybe you lack a solid grasp of the craft, or your story has grown stale and old.

But that is never a reason to give up.

We must look ourselves eye to eye in the mirror of truth and confront the fear that holds us back. We will fight hard and never give up, never give in.

A writer always faces opposition. Those who succeed are the ones who don’t quit.


Face your own heartache and battle forward. Learn what you’re lacking. Get professional feedback to help you overcome your weak areas.

Together we will conquer this.

Together we will attain our dreams.

Because we are the only ones holding ourselves back from success.

What fears keep you from reaching your goals? How do you plan to conquer them?


Until next time. . .happy writing!



10 thoughts on “The One Thing That Keeps You From Success

Add yours

  1. Thank you, Jacqueline. Yes, I agree fear is sometimes deeply hidden and one of writer’s big (if not only) obstacle. Your words are important for the writing community, and community is important to combat fear. Blessings, Julie

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent article !! May I quote you in a future message? Your thoughts will apply to many facets of life.


  3. I’m with you on this. I need to do some follow up as well, but I’ve not worked on anything to get that stuff ready. I need to sit down and do it because no one else will do it for me!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The agent/publisher-seeking part of this journey is a bear for most of us. And that first stinky review hurts. But you do get used to it, and all of us go through it. When your book is as good as you can get it, its time to let go and start on the next one. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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