Fear Factor….Get The Hell Over It!

Ok.  I’ve been writing and editing and polishing the same story for three years now…So sue me!


I’m a … perfecshun…purfection … perfectionist. 

Yeah right!  You guys know me better than that considering the typos, spelling errors, grammer faux-pas, etc. that come up in my writing.  I’m more of a ‘go-for-the-impact’ kinda girl than a ‘get-it-perfect’ chick. 

So…why the hell have I been holding onto this work-in-progress for so damn long?

I’m scared shitless.  Afraid of criticism, afraid of failure, afraid of all the ‘told-you-sos’.  Afraid of what it will do to my delicate confidence if I just plain old suck at this writing stuff.

Dana Vollmer wasn’t afraid.  Not after a diagnosis of a life threatening heart condition that could kill her if she continued swimming.  Not after training for 4 years and not making the 2008 USA swim team headed to Beijing.  She didnt sit down and say ‘f$#% it’. 

No, she used her challenges to change up her game plan…

Vollmer used her fear to make her try harder, try something different, persevere until she succeeded – 4 years later…with a Gold and world record in the women’s butterfly in London.

“I set myself up to win these last few years…Because I made myself believe I could go that fast.”

She is an amazing young woman who didn’t let failure or fear get in the way of her goals.

Perseverence (noun):

  • Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

I’d say three years holding on to a manuscript is a ‘delay in achieving success’, wouldnt you?  My own fault of course. 

Other things I’m afraid of?  Ooooh…the list is so freaking long…

– afraid of losing those I love, afraid of making people angry with me, afraid of making a fool of myself, afraid of not being accepted…(hmmm…see a pattern here?)

And the list could go on, but those are probably the biggies.  Rejection being my theme. 

So, how do I overcome this obstacle?  How do I overcome my fears of rejection?

“Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out.”
Karl Augustus Menninger

I suppose fear is a relative thing.  It can be either big or small depending on what you compare it to. A fear of skydiving is different when compared to tasting some cultural delicacy like chocolate covered beetles vs. awaiting a lab report for a malignancy. But no matter the fear…it is real to the one who owns it.

Our fears can often hold us back from our goals.  Especially those fears that are born of internal crap as opposed to falling from the sky when your parachute malfunctions.  Those fears that threaten who you are, who you want to be, how you feel about yourself.

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance.” John Lennon

I want to be a successful writer.  Well, it ain’t gonna happen if I don’t submit my work to someone who can make that happen for me!  What the hell can I do about it?

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

Ellie was so right here. What’s the worst that can happen?  I fail? Some person hates my writing? Some person gives me ideas to improve my writing? Somebody actually likes my writing? 

I’ll never know until I face my fear. 

So here’s what I’m gonna do:

1. IDENTIFY my fear. Rejection.  Which would wound my delicate pride!!!  But as in anything…a wound heals and makes me stronger…better…smarter!

2. COMMIT TO A SCHEDULE to succeed…a SPECIFIC plan (and stick to it!) I’m gonna write every morning (after my healthy breakfast and workout!) for 2  hours.  That means I’ll have to get up at 5:00am!  But I CAN DO THAT!  Dana Vollmer does that to succeed!  We have to sacrifice to succeed. I CAN DO IT!  I’ll have to go to bed earlier and set…(gulp!) the alarm!  I will not make silly excuses that set me up for failure.

3.  USE MY RESOURCES…my POSITIVE-MINDED resources (Yooooo-Hoooooooo!!!  Misty?????) to help me face my fear. I’ll surround myself with uplifting souls who make me feel good about myself.  The ones who support me and encourage me.  Not those who roll their eyes and project their negativity on my life.  I don’t have time for that!  I have a NY Times Bestseller’s list to get on! 

4. GET ORGANIZED.  Yup…I said it…you heard it…I CAN DO IT!  If I clean out the clutter. I’ll have more space in my life to be efficient and creative.  Efficiency will help lead me to my goal.

5. COMMIT.  I need to commit to my purpose.  Without following through on my committment to finish my WIP and get it out there I’ll NEVER reach my goal.  Without following through on my committment I will always feel this sense of failure, this sense of dissapointment in myself for having so little self-discipline.

6. DOWNSIZE for Time management. Time to prioritize and get rid of those pesky little time-suckers.  Hate to say it, but…gotta eliminate some of the time-sucking creeping I do on facebook, those pampered chef parties I attend just to make your friends happy, words with friends, Judge Judy(just love her!), …all those things that are not necessary and take me away from having time to work toward my goal! Time to tell the friends and family about the NEW schedule.  That way they will understand when I say, ‘sorry…I’m busy right now.’  

So, there it is.  MY plan to reach my goal.  A goal I’ve been dreaming of for years.  A goal I have been afraid to reach for because I’m petrified of rejection.  

Well SCREW YOU rejection!  I can handle you!  I can use you like some shitty old step ladder to climb back up again, to get better, to believe in myself, to succeed.  Just like Olympic swimmer Dana Vollmer said, “It took missing my goal in 2008 to say…’there has to be a better way to go about this.’ I had to decide I loved it to continue on.”


So friends, what is that goal you’ve been afraid to tackle?  What name can you put on that fear that is keeping you back from that one goal you’d love to finally accomplish?  I don’t care if that goal is cleaning out the junk drawer in you kitchen or making the 2016 Olympic Bobsled team.  Make a plan and ‘GET ‘ER DONE’!

“…. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
Helen Keller

Love, J.  

PS…Here’s promised pics from my Ten Things You Need to Do List!

Went Line Dancing and rode the mechanical bull…in a DRESS!

Went on a quick weekend getaway with only my man. We have NEVER done that…not even a honeymoon! Had a great time and recharged!



  1. I’m going to hold you to that commitment, Ms. Chick Swagger! I could wallpaper my house with the rejection letters I still have from the days before email. They are my evidence that I sent my work out. You can’t win if you don’t play. A writer writes, and an author submits. You know what you have to do, you have an awesome plan, and you’ve got a terrific support group holding your feet to the fire! Way to go, cowgirl! All best, Sandra

    • “A writer writes, and an author submits.” — Ooooooo, great words, Sandra!!

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Sandra! Can I squish you and keep you in my back pocket for moral support and motivation! Just love you!! You are so ‘write’ with your words…a writer writes…and author submits. I’m on it girlfriend!! What about your goals girlfriend? A room to re-wallpaper? An instrument to learn to play???

  2. OMG, I LOVE THIS AND I LOVE *YOU* JOSIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And you know what? I didn’t even correct your grammar, right align your pictures, or spell check this post for you because it’s perfect AND you’re PURRFECT the way you are!!


    • Josie Matthews says:

      MD!!! Right back atya sista’!!!! Just wait till you see how ‘purrfect’ I am when I annoy you with my rewritten scenes complete with conflict and all that shit thats gonna sell this m#$%^& F$%^&!!!!
      (Sorry girls and boys…sometimes profanity is just necessary!!!

      And…uh…hum….(throat clearing) where is your goal and the fears that hold you back from gettin’ to it?

      • Goal: Making sure I make the most of my time with my children while they’re home on summer break.

        Holding me back: GUILT over not writing!!!!

        I’m finally getting over this guilt…just in time for the kids to go back to school. Sigh.

        • Josie Matthews says:

          Misty…NEVER feel guilty about putting those babies first…writing will ALWAYS be here…those babies grow up so fast. Set just an hour a day…either before they get up of after bedtime…to spend on a writing project. Then when they are out and about…add some of that time too! My babies grew up way too fast…when you are with them…BE IN THE MOMENT!
          Love you!

  3. Diane Kratz has this to say (we can’t figure out why she’s having a hard time posting):

    “I love your blog this week! Thanks so much for talking about the FEAR Factor in all of us. Couldn’t have come at a better time for me!”

    Ditto! 🙂

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Diane! Im so happy this post was good for you!! I’m in a big motivation mood lately as you can see from my string of posts…Dont know what it is but writing about it and hearing from you guys is so helpful to my struggles! Let us know what works for you when you need to stay motivated! We’re all in this together as the Goddesses that we are…

  4. marsharwest says:

    Wow, Josie, you’ve really nailed this FEAR thing. More importantly, you’ve got a super plan laid out. It’s all fine and dandy to have the goal, but without the plan nothing happens.
    I Hate Rejection. I so need to feel competent, and rejection by judges, editors, CPs etc says I’m not competent.
    However, those same people have pointed me in directions that are improving my writing. I see what’s missing now. Margie Lawson and her wonderful packets are showing me how to get that stuff in there. She kindly offered her Immersion Class for half price at our chapter’s writing conference last March. I bid and won.
    Now that took guts to bid in the first place, because then I might win and then I’d have to go and gosh that might mean I’d have to make some changes in how I write. So I’m going. I’m terrified, but I’m going. I’m also working my tail off with her packets so I don’t look too incompetent to even be there. Am I nuts or what!
    The pain of not having something has to get so great, we’re willing to go through whatever pain it takes to get the prize.
    So, Josie, here’s to you and me. We’ll get there.

    • Josie Matthews says:

      OH Marsha…rejection DOES suck. We are such competetive creatures, not necessarily with others but more with ourselves. Why doe we feel ‘less’ when we recieve rejection of any kind? I guess it comes from that ‘inner self-love/esteem’ thing that seems so elusive to women. Isnt that something? We really need to start from the inside and getting to that Immersion class (I’d love to hear more about it!) sounds like the perfect place to start your plan! Change is hard…damn hard…but it also catapults us to new heights as warriors of our own domain.
      My vodka tonic with a nice little wedge of lime is held up to you!!! We WILL get there and relish in each others well deserved success…(Which will only come if we dont give up!)
      Oh…and about rejection…everybody like something different I’ve come to believe…some people love my writing…others have bashed it…so what does that say? Keep you chin up and your voice your own…
      Love , J

  5. Amazing post. We all struggle with fear, all the time. You can do it Josie. We’ll cheer you on. One thing that helps me is to have multiple goals. I know what my next book/project is going to be so even as I write the current one. So those characters yet to be drawn are running around my head, poking at my brain and screaming for their own book. Good luck Lady…

  6. Mary Roya says:

    I haven’t gotten a rejection letter yet because I haven’t submitted anything. I got a critique on 60 pages of my WIP. And I still haven’t looked at it. Fear…what if I wrote crap. What if it’s stupid. But I am going to look at it. I’m going to look at it, really I am…maybe I’ll have hubby look at it first.

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Sabrina, Is THAT what they mean by ‘I hear voices!!!’ Phew!!! I thought I was the only one! Whats a goal that you’d want to accomplish? You guys are so freaking supportive of us so I want to hear what’s going on in your life…that’s how we learn and grow! Share away girl…. Fears and all!!! And keep those goals in plain sight!!!
      Love, J

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Mary-girl….You crack me up! Look at that crit…with an open mind and a box of chocolate. Remember… a crit is based on only one persons taste and opinion. Take the ‘mechanical’ comments seriously (grammer, GMS, structure…yadda yadd) because they are cut and dry. Take the ‘I didnt like your hero’s occupation…’ with consideration but hesitancy. Think about them…see if the comment may have merit and may help your book be better in ‘your opinion’, then either take it or toss it…THAT is only one persons opinion. Hey…tons of publishers hated the Harry Potter books!!!!
      You and I are on a mission over the next few months….LETS ACTUALLY SUBMIT!!!!

  7. My fear is quitting my comfortable, secure job and pursuing my own things full time.
    Now’s the time to do it though! No kids, no family to support.
    So I’m hoping to quit by the end of the year!

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Ana, What an awesome nailing of a goal and fear. Lay out a plan…Budget – Network you new career – And get moving! Have a time line like you do IS AWESOME! It makes it real!!!
      I want to hear more about this as time goes on!!!!! This has also been a dream of mine…Mr. M ain’t feelin’ it though. I keep telling him I have way too many hobbies to be holding down a fulltime job. We are actually considering selling our dream house and downsizing so I can achieve this goal…But its more like a 2 year plan. LETS DO IT GIRL!!!! You never know uuntil you try. Just be sure not to skip the budget step! Sometimes visiting a financial planner can really help. They have great ideas that you might not think of.

  8. Love your plan Josie! and you’ve picked an awesome role model in Dana. Can’t wait to see the results.

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Thanks Kylie!!!! Dana as well as ALL those unbelievably dedicated athletes are such freaking great role models. How do the beach VB girls keep those bikini bottoms in place???? Ill keep you posted on when my sub goes out! Whats a goal of yours? Fill me in pumpkin!!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: