Self-Sabotage and the Fear of Success (To Write and Have Written)

In this Business of Creativity episode we tackle the little-discussed but not uncommon phenomenon of the fear of success. Let’s go over several ways we see this happen, what might be behind it, and what we can do about it.

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To Write and Have Written: A Writer's Guide To The Business Side
To Write and Have Written: A Writer's Guide To The Business Side
Laura VanArendonk Baugh

<p>Writing is only part of a writing career -- no one warned us that we would need business acumen and entrepreneurship to be an author. Whether you're traditionally published or an independent self-publisher, it's good to have a leg up on accounting, marketing, time management, and other key skills.</p><br><p>These recordings of live discussion on craft and development, on business best practices, on explorations of fascinating and inspiring real life cool stuff, and more will help you along your writing journey and career development. Join Laura VanArendonk Baugh as she shares what she's learned and what she's learning. (Or join the weekly live discussion with your own questions!)</p><br /><hr><p style='color:grey; font-size:0.75em;'> See <a style='color:grey;' target='_blank' rel='noopener noreferrer' href=''></a> for privacy and opt-out information.</p>


Self-Sabotage and the Fear of Success (To Write and Have Written) – powered by Happy Scribe

So I was going to be so proud of myself

for remembering to turn my microphone onwhen I started tonight and indeed,

I wrapped around so hard that I failed

into shouting into the microphonebefore my stream was up.

That’s where we are.

So.All right.

Hi, everybody.

Welcome to tonight’s show.

It is Tuesday, and I amhonestly together like an adult.

That’s where we are right now.

So, OK,

let’s get things organized, OK?

You know, really like

yelling into the microphoneand just to explain what was going on,

my Doberman is having a nervous breakdown

of sorts because the search team is hereagain tonight using the land outside,

using the acreage for searchpractice, which is great.

That’s all well and good.But she does not understand why

you know, why there are strangershiding on our property.

So she’s trying to tell methat we are being invaded.

And, you know, I should do something about

this and I should let herdo something about this.

And I’m trying to explain to her that I

know they’re there and I have a videostream to do and she’s not buying this.

So that’s whatwas going on there.

So, yeah, apologies for the excitement and

we’ll see if we can stay on taskand properly ordered going forward.


yeah.So yeah.

Natalie’s like, “But the mic was on!”

So, you know, I did,I did achieve, my goal criteria was met.

I just need to set some new criteria

about, you know,appropriate use of things.

So there we go.All right.

Let me get my other chat window organized

here so I can see whatyou guys are saying.

I moved my camera.

This was a good thing, except nowI’ve blocked my chat window, so.

All right.

OK, everybody.OK, great.

Right.OK, so.

The microphone adventure, as I was saying,is just kind of a continuation of my day.


this afternoon my husband and I descended

from our separate work environmentsand met in the kitchen for lunch.

And I, you know, put a frozen mealin the microwave because I’m very classy.

And that was today’s lunch plan.

And then I was doing dishes while thewell, it ran and it

stopped and I went over and looked at itand it was, you know,

my thing was still absolutelya hundred percent frozen.

And I was like, oh, man.

Clearly, I was distracteddoing the dishes.

And I, you know, for four minutesit ran, not doing anything.

I must have put it on the wrongsetting or something.

So I restarted it, went back,finished, no big deal.

And so then as it waswrapping up, it, you know

it stopped suddenly, just suddenly stopped.

The microwave suddenly stopped running and Irestarted it and said to my husband,

“You know, that’s the secondweird thing that it’s done.

Like, I just assumed that I had screwed up

the first time, but it just suddenlystopped in the middle of running.

That’s the second weird thingthat it’s done,” and he said, “Stop it.”

And I turned around and like black smoke

is flying out of the microwave, justbelching this horrible smelling smoke.

And so turn around, slam, stop,you know, get everything,

cut that out.Not on fire.

I turn back to my husband.

“That’s the third weirdthing that it’s done today.”

So, yeah, that microwave is no longer

in the house where it canpose a fire hazard.

So.All right.

So let’s do tonight’stotally not disastrous topic today.

All right.

I want to I want to mentionto start with that this is,

I have a lot of disclaimers to leadto lead off with here today,

because this topic, talking about selfsabotage and the fear of success,

is something that is going to potentiallytap into some things that may be scary.

And we’re going to talk about thingsthat are going to touch on identity.

Identity is real scary, real touchy.If you don’t believe me,

look around politics right now,like how people view themselves

is more important in many cases than howthey view what’s actually happening.


I want to just put off and this

this is different than when we’retalking about procrastination.

Procrastination is a fear of failure,

but it’s different, it’s a fearof failure, not a fear of success.

So,you know, I have these great dreams

of these things I’m going to do,but I’m not going to start doing them,

because until I do them,they’re still perfect in my head.

That’s another topic we candeal with at another time.

When I want to talk about now is

when we actually sabotage ourselves and donot allow ourselves to succeed where we

could because of perceptions andmisconceptions and a lot of other things.

Let me start by saying I am not diagnosinganyone over the Internet and I am not

going to talk about actualpsychiatric conditions.

I am not going to talkabout specific people.

I am not going to talk about, you know,

I am speaking to a green LED.

I know you’re on the other side of it.

I would love to hear backfrom the chat as we go.

I want this to be verymuch of a discussion, but

I am in a couple of dozen at leastwriters groups online, not counting,

you know, in person groups that I’m in.Those groups I have been in, some of them

at this point a decade,

those groups may range from 30people to thousands of people.

I have seen

all kinds of writers from the casualhobbyist trying NaNoWriMo for the first

time to the career full timerwho is making a living off their writing.

So I talk to people at conferences.

I’ve talked to peopleat marketing meet ups.

I’ve talked to,

you know,I just want to say that there are

thousands of observationsthat are going into this talk.

So I’m probably not speakingabout any specific person.

If it feels like at any point that I am

speaking about a specific person who mightbe you, dear, dear listener,

I’m going to say it ismore likely that you are

possibly in a group of peopleabout whom I am speaking.

So where I’m going with this isnothing that I’m going to say here,

if it sounds scary or


then I want to say thisis, none of this is personal.

I am just putting stuff out here for you

to consider on your own timeand come to your own conclusions.

So if there — think back to Cinderella,

not the the sweet Disney version,but like that lovely old grotesque

fairy taleswhere the stepsisters really want to fit

in the shoe, but the footdoesn’t fit in the shoe.

So they cut off toes and parts of the heel

and all kinds of thingstrying to make the shoe fit.

If the shoe fits you,please just take this opportunity

to consider if that isa shoe that you want to fit.

If the shoe does not fit you,

then please don’t cut off toes and thencomplain that your foot hurts.

OK, that’s where I am.There we go.

There’s all the disclaimers.

I’ve put that up front.


So thank you guys.I am.

I’m seeing the chat.You know that.

Yeah, we’re good.

We’re on the same page,so I appreciate that.

But I think this is stuff that,

you know,I think about this stuff, and sometimes I

need to think about it in the car orwith music or over dark chocolate.

OK, so I’m just.To make sure that we’re all none of this

is ever personal. So, OK,so let’s start with,

how we self sabotage and the reason I want

to bring this up is thisis something that I see a

lot, actually,in the creative community,

and nobody, as far as I can tell,is talking about it.

I believe this is both conscious

and unconscious, and I think it happensunconsciously more than consciously.

So that’s why I want to bring it up so wecan be aware of it,

because if you’re aware of it,you can at least make decisions about it.

And if it’s if you’re not aware of it,it’s just going to keep happening.

Excuse me,

so there are a number of ways thatthat this happens and I’m just going

to walk through in absolutelyno particular order,

the rough categories that I seewhere this is happening.

So the first one is I’m just going to callthis the fear of change, because that’s

honestly a pretty accurateway to approach it.

If I create something and it is successful

and I become a successful creator, heavy,heavy air quotes because that is

a definition that we don’thave time to get into.

That’s another topic.

But for whatever reason,I have changed in my own self-assessment

of my creativity, my ability,my success level, whatever

that is change.And that is potentially a very significant

change, depending on how I haveapproached this hobby or career.

You know, again, a number of thingsthat will influence this.

The human brain is goodat a lot of things.

Welcoming change is not one of them.

Change is one of the things that the brainresists more than almost anything.


you know, I think, again,

I’m not I’m not going to get terriblypolitical, but you can look around and see

2020 is a year that hasrequired a lot of changes.

And you can see — I told my husband back

at the beginning of March, I said,”Oh, my gosh, I’m looking forward,

and this year is going to be all about

who has adaptability,who is flexible and who is not.

And and that’s going to determinehow people handle this year.”

And looking back, I feel that wasa pretty fair assessment.

OK, and so.

A lot of those changes are,we’re resisting change, you


I’m really trying to think

of non-political examples, I swear,but if, you know, in order for

you know what, darn it,this stuff has been so politicized,

there’s no way to safely say anything.

But if you’ve got, you know, oh,my gosh, this is a big and scary event.

You know, a pandemic, OK, that’sby definition a major event.

And acknowledging that is too disruptiveto my worldview and my level of comfort.

So I am going to resist changes, you know,that, you know, to I’m going to resist

making changes because of that,because it allows me to live in denial.

That’s one tiny,highly politicized example.

So just where I’m going isfear of change is huge.

We see fear of change drivingso much behavior in people.

An unfortunately common but not politicalexample would be abusive relationships

where peopledon’t get out of the abusive relationships

because the change is scarierthan staying in the relationship.

And if they do get out.

Respectful, loving relationships feel so

different that they are more likelyto find a familiar abusive relationship

because the brain doesnot adapt well to change.

And there’s a reason we have the phrase

“the devil you know,” OK, like “better thedevil you know than the devil you don’t.”

Because, you know, between two bad things,

I will take the bad thing I am familiarwith because we don’t like change.

And this is,

where I’m going is just the conceptof life changing, of life being different

is enough to slow some people down and notwant to make a change,

even if it’s a change that they anticipatebeing for the better, it’s still change.

And honestly, we’re notthat great at that.

So we can we can change.

Obviously, we can choose to make changes,all kinds of things that I’m not going

to take the time because we’ve gota lot to do tonight to walk through.

But I’m just going to say fear of change

is one reason that we sometimes resistdoing things that we might want,

but we don’t want the changethat goes with them.

Now, how much of that change isreal and how much of that is perception?

Or I have talked myself into the idea

that it will be a larger disruption thanit really will be? Or anything like that.

That’s, you know, somethingto think about and explore.

But the you know, again,the idea here is just that just

having a difference is enough for somebrains to want to resist that.

And sometimes there are some legitimatethings to be concerned about.

You know, if I am doing this as a fun

hobby and suddenly I start makingmoney off of it, does it become a job?

Is it still fun?

You know, and you gotquestions to ask yourself there.

And where I’m goingwith this tonight is, Great,

ask yourself those questions,come up with answers.

Don’t sabotage yourself so that you can’tbe successful because you haven’t thought

about, do I want thisto be a hobby or a job?

OK, so.

So there you go.

One that — I can’t figure out another way

to say this, so I’m going to, I’m goingto say it awkwardly, is the change….

You know, some people are worried about

succeeding because they don’twant the burden of success.

And “the burden of success”is a very weird phrase.

But what I’m going to say there is,what if people like it?

What if people praise your work?

And it’s funny how many times I’ve had

conversations with people like, oh,you know, I don’t want to pitch this

at this conference or, you know,pick, pick whatever scenario, maybe

“I don’t want to submit this story.I don’t want to do this.

And what if they hate it?”And I’m like, “OK, what if they hate it?

Like, what is the worstthing that happens?

If they hate it, they don’tgive you money for it.

OK, know your submissiondoesn’t get taken.

That’s it.You’ve you’ve lost the cost of an email.

Like what’s the worst thing that happens.”

OK, ok, that’s reasonable, and I’m like, “And.

And OK, now let’s turn that around.

What if people like it?”And then you get this

reaction when people say, OK, OK,

so what if people like it isthe scary part of this question.

OK, so why just take a moment and wonder

why is that scary? You know,is it that if people like your work,

you will get more attentionor you will get praise?

Is that a bad thing? And if so, why?Again, just kind of sit and

you know, work through this.

If having people like my stuffis a scary thing,

ask yourself why that is. And I’m nottelling you all this is a good feeling

and this is a bad feeling, I just wantyou to kind of think, you know, think.

Thanks, Natalie,for making that face with me.

My, my.

But I’ve seen that happen so many times

with the you know, this just the absolutefreeze up of what if people like this?

Guys, you are allowedto be proud of your work.

Like if you’re producing workthat you’re not proud of, then yeah,

don’t sendthat off as a submission.

Right.Like, be proud of the stuff you make.

But if you’re proud of it,you’re allowed to be proud of it.

All right.

Like you are a creator,you’re supposed to create.

Like that is literally in the jobdescription, so don’t

hold yourself back from being proud

of something that you havelegitimately done a good job with.

Just going to leave that there

and then the other thing that I’llthrow out with the burden of success:

Let’s say that my wildest,most ambitious creator dreams come true.

My Kin & Kind comes out.It sells.

You know, that’s the thirdin my current series.

So for whatever reason,

the third book is, that is the magicone and it sells 26 million copies.

It gets an Amazon Primeor a Netflix adaptation.

It becomes a major theatricalfilm and Howard Shore scores it.

I mean, you know, my favorite A-listactors are going to take the lead.

You know, all of the, like, just gocompletely over the top with this.

The most wild and crazy.

I’ve got casual phone gamesbased on my world, whatever.

It goes absolutely insane.

I am still going to be able to

step out of my rideshare in whatevercity I’m visiting,

because this is the future and we’retraveling again

and walk down the sidewalk and walkinto a hotel or do whatever

and not get mobbed on the street becausenobody is going to recognize me.

I am never, no matter what level ofsuccess I’m at, going to be the Beatles.

OK, like the burden of success is probably

not as heavy as you’re maybeanticipating it to be.

And you know, don’t.

You know, in my most unrealistic scenario,

I am still living the samelife that I’m living.

All right.So don’t cheat yourself out of doing well

because you’re worried aboutwhat happens if you do.

Hey, I hope this is making sense for me.

Some, throw me some feedback.

I got Kate agreeing with me that Howard Shore,

that is my dream.Like Howard Shore will score something,

some adaptation of my work.There we go.

I have put that out for

mockery or agreement or the universeto recognize, whatever that’s out there.

But just.

Oh, my gosh, Kate — Kate’s totally on topof where the next thing is going.

“What if they like it, and I have to live up

to that and producesomething just as awesome?”

OK, you know, as somebody trying to stick

the landing in a series right now,I feel this really hard, okay?

I completely get thisand I’m not going to lie.

Getting good feedback on book one wasfantastic, but it made me worry about book

two, but book two had a deadline,so that was great.

And then book two people said, “oh,

book two is good, we liked book two better than book one.

So I can’t wait for book three.”

And I’m over here going, “yeah, that makesseveral of us.” Like I’m honestly

you know, I get that because you do feelpressure, you feel pressure, regardless of…

I’m going to say,

any time you’re making something,

you’re going to feel pressure. If if Ididn’t if I didn’t have a book or a book

two, if I just had this book,I would still want this book to be good.

Right.And if.

If people don’t like my next book, well,at least they liked my first book, right?

Also, there’s quite a lot of,

we also have the phrase”one hit wonder,” OK?

And, you know, you have.

You know, so many.

I’m thinking of Harper Lee,

who had one book for decades,but it was one amazing, very famous book.


you know, I think it’s.

Yeah, you you definitely are going to feel

pressure if you want to, you know,live up to your previous work.

On the other hand,

you did put out that previous work, so youclearly can live up to that previous work.


And I go back to, when in doubt, reallysit down and consider the statistics.

Is it likely that

if my next book is not as amazing as

my first book, that peopleare going to egg my house?

Probably not, probably what I’ll hear is

that wasn’t as good as my favorite,you know, fill in the blank, and

OK, you know what, like

I feel the same way about other authors

that I read, it hasn’t stoppedme from reading their books.

I just have books that Ilike more than others.

You know, I’m going to rereadthis one, but not that one.

I did not ever email everyone I know

and say I just read the latest from so and so anddon’t ever read one of their books again.


Oh, my gosh.

“One hit wonders laugh at usbecause at least they had a hit.”

That is one of my favorite quotes.

And as far as…

That’s a musical group, and, oh, my gosh,Seeker put the name of the group in there

because I’m having a complete,complete mind blank.

“one hit wonders

laugh at us because at least they–“I can do it in my head, it’s just not there.

OK, darn it.

OK, let’s let me get back to my notes

because I’m just getting distractedby the song lyrics because they’re fun.


All right,

OK, so here’s the next one that’s goingto be starting to step into touchy

territory if we haven’t gotten therealready, and that is we’re going to talk

about identity. And inparticular to start with–

Excuse me — in particular,

to start with a kind of, I’m going tocall this a victimization narrative

because, darn it, that’san accurate way to do it.

So there are a lot of peoplewho get through life

using as a coping mechanism

that the reason things can be hard isbecause things are actively,

purposefully set against them,and if that makes you happy to live your

life that way, I guessthat’s that’s your call.

(That is a This Train song.

Thank you.

So Alena had the name of themusical group.)

This is why my chat being

delayed from my trainof thought is a problem.

All right.Jumping back.

So you’ve got a victimization narrative

going on where, you know, it’s, “I can’tsell my story because nobody likes

this topic” or”I can’t do this because my family doesn’t

support my efforts” or,you know, that sort of thing.

If this story sells, and if the family then

comes back and says, “oh,that’s great, we’re so proud of you,”

what if the family is supportive?You have just changed the entire narrative

there and in some casesit is worse to be wrong.

It is worse to be wrong aboutthe world view than it is to fail.

We would rather fail than have

to recognize that we needto change how we’re doing things.

And that is a frustrating

way to live, it’s an incrediblyfrustrating conversation to have, if

you know and again, I’m talking

from thousands of observations over yearsand years, so I’m not speaking of any

person in particular,but I can say that on a number

of occasions I have beenin a coaching kind of scenario

and it is just incredibly obvious

that the person was more attachedto a worldview than to goals and,

“Oh, no, no, no,

I can’t I can’t do that because,you know, my my family wouldn’t like it.

My friends don’t like this kind of thing.”

And “like, well, actually, they justsaid this really supportive thing.”

“Oh, no, no, no, no.

That’s not what that means.”

OK, whatever.

So where I see — howyou can see this happening,

and this is, I’m just going to throw out

some things that that again, I observeand this is just for thought.

But if you have someone who has 40

positive reviews and then they get onenegative review and either that completely

derails everything, “I can’tenjoy those 40 positive reviews.

I can’t take that as valid feedbackbecause there’s one negative.”

I’m sorry.

In what mathematical universedoes one balance out forty?

Hey, don’t don’tdon’t let that bother you, OK?

But I’ve actually seen people take theirbooks off the market for that.

“Oh, I got a negative review.

Now it has to go down because, you know,there’s no way to recover from that.

And I knew it.

I knew it wasn’t going to work out.

I knew it was doomed to fail.”

Like, whoa, like this is notany kind of logical, rational thinking.

This is pure…

You are defending yourdecision to fail at that point, OK?

There are

in the behavior world,we talk about explanatory fictions,

I’m going to bring some explanatoryfictions over into the publishing world.

This is where you’ll hearexplanations for why

I can’t succeed and I’m just goingto run through — I wrote down some of these

because these are the onesthat I hear a lot

and I’m just going to run through them so.

No one will give selfpublished books a chance.

Everyone wants cheap indie books.

So the odds are stacked againsttraditionally published books now.

With all the diversity buzz, no one isinterested in books by white people.

The market is biasedagainst Christian authors.

The market is biasedagainst pagan authors.

The market is biasedagainst atheist authors.

My genre is glutted.

My genre has fewer readers.

Independent bookstores hate self published

books, so there’s no pointin trying to work with them.

Independent bookstores hate traditionally

published books, so there’s nopoint in trying to work with them.

Big chain bookstores hate self published…

OK, and any victim narrativefor the market will work here.

And this is where I get very frustratedas a person who is, you know,

participating in this creative communitybecause I will get online and I will see

back to back in my social media,like sometimes right next to each other,

the statements, “the market is not friendlyto left leaning books right now”

and “the market is not friendlyto right leaning books right now”

And I, can you guys justget over yourselves?

You know what?The market is not

friendly to writers who whine insteadof fixing things and getting to work!

OK, that is a true statement.

But the whole,you know, creating these explanatory

fictions to why there is no pointin trying or why I don’t have to

work harder because it’s just goingto fail or, you know, that kind of thing.

You know, that’s not that’snot helping anybody.


you can sum this up as Yeah But.OK, so if there’s you know…

‘Oh, you’ve got this really great review here.”

“Yeah but.I got a bad review.”

I don’t care!

“Here’s a callfor submissions for–“

“Yeah but

I’m not the right demographic,”

whatever that might be.You know, like submissions.

You submit via blind submissions.

I frequently, the complaints I hear,

I see online in groups about, wellthey’re not taking X demographic or Y

gender or, you know, fill in the blank,but they’re talking about places that are

using blind submissions because I’msubmitting to those places too.

And I know how their submissions work.

And so, no,it’s not the name of the author or

the gender of the authoror any of those things.

OK, the submissions are blind.

It’s the stories.

So part of the reason this makes me so

angry is because these are promotingall kinds of misinformation for

other writers in the community.

You know, somebody else gets online

and reads something about, oh,the market is biased against X, Y, Z.

And that makes it really

difficult for new people cominginto the community to find good

information about submissions or bestpractices or whatever,

because all these explanatory fictions areshowing up in the online community.

And it’s very frustrating.

So one thing that I’m goingto pull out as just a demo because

this is one that I just personallyrun into a lot, is there’s always

somebody somewhere complaining about “wecan’t have religious content in a book.

You know, if you show characters praying,

you know, the generalmarket won’t tolerate that.

That has to go to some specific, you know,

faith based publishing houseor something like this.”

And it’s frustrating because this issuch an obviously false statement.

So I’m just going to point out,my case study here is The Hate U Give

from Angie Thomas,which is a great book.

And I recommend it.

It sold 100,000 copies in itsfirst month in print.

So I’m going to call that asuccessful general market book.

I don’t know what you mean by successful,but last I checked,

it spent over one hundred and eighty weekson The New York Times best seller list.

That is not a market rejection.

That is a book that is full of family,

the family talking about religious contentand the scene where the family is having

a family argumentby thanking Jesus for different things

back and forth in the in the family prayerto disagree with each other.

I was laughing out loud during that scene,

but clearly that’s a scenethat includes prayer.

So clearly prayer is allowedin a mainstream book, you know, so stop —

in a book that can beincredibly successful.

OK, so so just let’slet’s start collectively,

let’s agree to stop sharingmisinformation as a

excuse to, you know.

And there arethere are legitimate excuses.

We’ll talk about those, but,

you know, the explanatory fictionsof why I shouldn’t try or why I can’t be

successful or why I shouldn’t bother or,you know, don’t rely on this

false worldview

to excuse your

lack of effort.

I’m just going to say that meanly.

Because, no, nobody is going to buy a story that you’re not submitting

and saying, “Well,I can’t submit it because of,” no.

It’s not selling, not because it has thiscontent or doesn’t have this content or is

or is not written by thistype of person or whatever.

No, it’s not sellingbecause you’re not submitting it.

OK, there you go.OK, so let me back up and say,

obviously there are challengesthat happen in a writing career.

If there were no challenges, thenwe would not be having a streaming video

on ways to address challengesin the business of creativity.

So clearly there are challenges.

What I’m talking about here is

specifically the tendency to lean on thosechallenges and promote those challenges,

real or exaggerated or completely imagined,to prevent or to justify

failure, to prevent or excuse the lackof good management or to justify failure.

So that’s.That’s that’s where I’m going.

OK, all right.

The other thing, and this is going tosound very weird, but I do see it happen.

And that is to avoid failure

by deliberately failing.And this sounds weird,

but hang with me for a second and Ithink you might recognize it.

Excuse me, I’m sneaking my drink,my emergency food run

since since I didn’t have a microwaveand I hadn’t planned to actually make food

tonight, so we had to makean emergency food run.


so this scenario is where people are

so afraid of failing that they willdeliberately sabotage themselves so

that they know they failed on purpose,not failed because they tried.

Therefore, it’s not for-real failing.

“I meant to fail.

I failed ironically,”or something like that.

And you can sum this up as: If I didn’ttry my hardest, then I didn’t fail.

And I get that this is a very mucha protective mechanism,

it’s also really sad because it means youwill never, ever succeed like you could

because you’re not allowingyourself to actually try.

So this is the writer equivalentto the guy who wants to wear something

that’s not mainstream fashion,but he doesn’t really want to have to

commit to wearing it or admit that he

actually likes it if somebodymakes a joke about it.

So he will wear it “ironically.”All right.

Hey, you know what?

I’m busy right now, go away. Go away, shoo.Get up in the chair, there you go, OK. Good job.

Sorry.Doberman interruption.

So I had a friend some time ago who

could never, ever recommendanything if you asked her.

(Hey, you’re extremely helpful here. Sorry.)

If you asked her for “OK,

what’s a good book about… Orwhat’s your favorite movie?” Or whatever.

It would always, always come up as,

“This title is good for people who likesort of that sort of thing,”

and she would never actually justadmit that she liked something.

She always had to have a barrier so

that if somebody else didn’t like it,she hadn’t not liked the cool thing.

Right.This is

this is what we’re dealing with here.

And and it’s just, Commit!Like the thing,

and don’t sabotage yourselfso that you can’t

succeed, so that way youdidn’t really fail either.

It’s just so much shortchanging.

Think back to middle school and,

you know, there’s the guy in classand he likes the girl in class,

but he doesn’t know ifshe’s going to like him.

So what he does is hecalls her names so that she will

definitely notice him and he getsto get some interaction with her.

But she doesn’t like himbecause he’s called her names.

But but also, it’s notthat she didn’t like him.

It’s that she didn’t likethe names he called her.

So she’s definitely not going to go

with him now or whatever itis the kids say these days.

But that’s OK because it wasn’t because that he

tried to go out with herand he was unlikable.

It was because he called her namesand that’s why she didn’t like him.

OK, and you’re like, oh, my gosh,what a terrible way to live your life.

Yes.That is where we are.

So the whole thing here isthat the reality is not that

these people didn’t fail,it’s that they ensured their failure

and they have convinced themselvesthat intentional failure is more palatable

than the possibilityof unintentional failure.

And I’ve, you know, I’ve known a numberof people like this, who were

close friends, and it’s justa really hard way to live.

So what I’m doing here, again, is I’m just

emphasizing again,I’m just raising possibilities.

These are things that I have seen

in multiple people over a wide,wide spread of observations.

And my goal here is not to tell people,

oh, my gosh, you know,I’m not calling anyone out.

And I’m not telling anyonehow to live their life.

What I’m saying is, you know,if something is closer or to applicable or

something, you know, just takesome time and think about it.

Just make a informed, makean informed decision.

You know, if you want to say,picking something at random,

“Actually, no, I’m much more interestedin having this as a hobby than a career.”

Great.You made a call.

You made a conscious decision.

That’s all I’m after.

But what I don’t want is, “Man, I wish Ihad done something with this, you know,

passion that I have,but I never let myself do it.”

Just make the decision, so.

I just, I get very frustrated.

I’m an idealist, which is a bad way to be

in 2020, but I get very frustrated when Isee people bemoaning a lack of success

that I see they could haveif they let themselves.

But, you know, they’re sabotagingto make sure that it will never happen.

And that’s unfair to them.

It’s unfair to the people who are tryingto, you know, who are offering help

when asked because that helpis not actually wanted.

It’s unfair to the rest of the community

who is frequently gettingmisinformation about things.


you know, I don’t want I don’t want to seedisinformation spread to new writers.

I don’t want to see communityconversations shut down with,

you know, wallowing self-pity.

OK, and, you know, there are definitelyareas in the writing community that I have

left because there are lots of questions,you know, “Oh, why doesn’t this sell?

Why doesn’t you know,why isn’t this working?

I wish this could happen.”

And they ask for resources,

but every one of those resources is metwith a Yeah But and like, OK, you know what?

There’s a lot of us who aren’t goingto waste our time here anymore because

it’s not helpful to anyoneto to keep feeding this.

So, things to be aware of,comparisons are not fair at all

for a lot of things and I’ll just,

we don’t have time to go into all of that.

So just comparisons of, you know, hey,

I sold a story in March and my friendsold a story in March and my friend has

written three sequels since then and soldsix more, you know, things and I haven’t.

OK, you know what?There’s lots of different

There’s lots of reasons that that could be.It’s not fair to either of you to to put

in those comparisons withoutother things as well.

So we’ll talk about that in another

another episode, becausethat’s a huge, huge topic on

and whatnot.


Oh, my gosh.Yeah.

So “they are like the dog that doesn’t wantto get off the porch because the nail

they’re lying on isn’tuncomfortable enough to get up.”

Yeah, that’s that’s really the thing is,you know, and and you know what?

I have been there.

All I’m saying is justmake a conscious decision.

“No, you know what?I choose to stay on the nail.”

Great.That’s your choice.

That’s all I want.And that’s all I’m asking you to do.

I’m also going to say, you know,

excuses aren’t helpful,but I’m going to emphasize there are

there are there is a timewhen an excuse is legitimate.

Sometimes there areextenuating circumstances.

2020, for a lot of us, isan extenuating circumstance.

If you were heresome weeks ago when I talked about

creating in 2020 and, you know,when you’ve got this kind of mental

load going on from, you know,from non typical life and how that will

affect your creative endeavors,yeah, that’s legitimate.

OK, you know, you’ve lost a job.

You’ve had a death in the family,

you know, whatever that that those arelegitimate, extenuating circumstances.

Those are those are not whatI’m talking about here.

I’m talking abouttaking a real thing and exaggerating it or

making something up completely toto justify not trying.

OK, that’s where I’m going with there.

So some other time we will talk about

setting goals, how to identify your goalsthat you want, that are not necessarily

relevant to my goals,and how to be honest with goals.

I’m just saying just behonest with yourself.

That’s the good way to do it.

It is totally fine to have tiers of goals.

You know, I’ve got my my entry level goal,my stretch goal, my really stretch goal,

my “I’m going to have a movieand Howard Shore is going to score it goal.”

Like it is fine to havelevels of of ways to do this.

And I know goals are scary.I know.

I know.But they’re also helpful.

And the good thing aboutsetting tiers of goals is I don’t just

have like one and done, right, and I either made it or I failed.

I can have a lot of goals at differentlevels so I can be achieving something

while I’m still workingtowards something else.

So goals are a whole ‘nother topic that

we will spend time on some other time,but have tiers of goals,

have sequential goals, havedream goals versus practical goals.

You know, you can you canset up all kinds of things.

It is completely OKto make practical decisions.

Hey, my car broke down this month,so I don’t have the money to sink

into the marketing campaign that I wasgoing to do where I was going to do this

big ad blitz or something. That’s justcalled being a responsible adult.

That is completely legitimate, though.

That’s not the kind of excusingthat I’m talking about here.


So, again, there arethere are real life challenges.

That’s not what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about keeping yourselffrom investing

time, energy, hope,whatever the resources are.

again, but I’m the take home, the sum uphere is just make conscious decisions.

Whatever those decisions are,

if you’ve made them and they’reright for you, fantastic.

They don’t have to bethe decisions I would make.

All I’m asking is for you to make

a conscious decision rather thanletting unconscious fear sabotage.

Your own work,so that’s that’s what I’m after.



we’ll see if anybody’s stillstuck with me at this point.

If I scared everybody off again, Imight.

My goal here is,

is just if I said anything that sounds

vaguely familiar, just take that somewherewhen you don’t have to deal with my voice

and and sit with itand see where that goes.

And if it doesn’t apply to you, great.Let it go.

And if you decide, oh,I kind of I kind of maybe see that,

you know why it just makes themconscious decisions about it.

That’s all I’m after.All right.

And that’s what I’ve got.

So if you guys have questions orcomments to throw into the chat,

I’ve I’ve gone through my soapbox worth

of notes and and that’swhat I have for this week.

Next week is the many uses of NaNoWriMo

what it is good for and whatit is not good for.

So that’ll be another one whereI’ll probably step on some toes.

But honestly, I think thosetoes need stepped on.

So ready to go with that.

And if you are

just joining me, I know wehave some some new people.

The last week or two,if you have an Amazon Prime account,

you can support this show,Endeavour thing, whatever,

by by using your Amazon Prime freesubscription to support the channel

without paying a penny,which is a great way to do it.

Also, you can just subscribe.

That’s another way to do it.

Also, I have you we get all the replays

on YouTube and I havea COFI and all of that.

So yes, NaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo is

the next week’s next week’s topic is,

you know, oh my gosh, you wouldn’t think,hey guys, let’s have fun.

Doing something together would stirup so many controversial opinions.

But hey, humanity,that’s what we’re good at.


I kind of want to respond to

I feel like I have some insight here

that we’d like to share and respondto some of the criticisms,

but also give some more pragmaticexpectations in some areas.

So that’s what we’re going OK.

Yeah, it was it was a bad itwas a bad week for toe’s.

We talked toe’s after fitting shoes.

We stepping on toes about NaNoWriMo.

You know, it’s just a badweek for toe’s, so.

OK, that is what I have.

Thank you guys for joining me.


So next week we NaNoWriMo after that isCarla Hook with from Fight.

Right.And we’re going to talk about fight scenes

and probably fighting somezombies or something else.

If you have a favorite Halloween creature

you would like us to take on,we can let me know about that.

And after that, I believe,

is our creatine and then we’llreset with our weekly theme’s.

So, oh, I do wantto mention one other thing.

The first Tuesday in November

is here in the U.S. Election Dayand a bit of a dramatic Tuesday.

And I am celebrating.

I don’t know if celebratingis the right word.

I am marking that day.

I will be doing it all day.

Charity live stream on Twitch.

Details about that will be coming out.

But basically I will be online all day.

I have a few interviews aboutcreativity and publishing and whatnot.

Set up all of those.Almost all of this.

Not all.Almost all of those are international.

So that’ll be that’ll be a fun breakfor some of us on that Tuesday.

And then the other hours that I’m not

doing with interviews aregoing to be live creating.

And that’s going to be a ride because I am

not a person whoI don’t even write in coffee shops like

that is too much public social pressureto create in.

And so I’m going to do it live on.

Streaming video in front of the entire

Internet was just aboutstretching yourself.

I think I said somethingabout stretching myself.


So anyway, look for detailson that as it comes.

And and it will be Nathalie’s likea good way to distract myself.


I’m going to make that asfriendly as the environment as possible

because I too am going to needa way to distract myself.

So and we’re going to be supportingsome really good charity options there.

So that’s the plan.

And I’ll have giveawaysand all kinds of good stuff.

So just stay tuned for commentaryon that and see again all the details.

So that is what I have.

And I know I keep saying I’m wrapping up,

but for real this time Iam honestly wrapping up.

So thank you guys very much.

And I will see you next Tuesday forthe many uses of NaNoWriMo OK, ticket.

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