Writer’s Fright

February 7, 2008 at 5:13 pm 17 comments

Picture a wooden table holding a cordless phone trapped in its base by a spider web.  Add a mailbox, one of the metal ones that’s flat on the bottom and curved on top, a little rust around the red flag.  Then imagine total silence broken only occasionally by the lonely cry of single cricket.  Welcome to my job hunt. 

I don’t get it.  I have a great resume, wonderful cover letters and excellent references.  Not one phone call for an interview.  The clock is tick, tick, ticking to the end of my paychecks   day job and I’m starting to feel the panic setting in.  I see visions of me and Pap camped under a bridge,  our collectable pottery and the pictures of our kids in a three wheeled shopping cart beside us.  I catch myself wondering if there really are recipes for road kill….

Such are the thoughts in the bright light of day.  Once the sun sets, the traffic quiets outside and my home settles into a quiet hum, I write.  And remember why I needed to dump the day job in the first place.  I doubt I’m the only writer plagued by insecurities.  The reality of my life is that Pap makes plenty of money to keep us snugly under a roof, at least when I’m not spending it on grandkids and redecorating.  The real problem is the fear of failure. 

I have been and will always be a writer.  But I seek to be a published writer, an Author.  As long as there is something that can be blamed for sucking up the time needed to properly write, edit, submit and promote writing – I haven’t failed and the dream stays alive.  That’s been the pattern for most of my life.  Writer’s Fright. 

I’m not mailing any resumes today.  I don’t even think I’ll open the newspaper. 


Entry filed under: Day Job, writing.

Nearly Speechless Where’s Kat?

17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. QuillDancer  |  February 7, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    Kat — I have about a dozen blogs, but I don’t have time to write. I wonder why that is? “I never had the opportunity/time/chance,” is so much easier to say then, “I tried and failed.”

    My friend Ilona had a post yesterday that addressed the road to success. (Her second novel comes out this March.) You might want to give it a read. She and I started on this road together. I was the promising star in the writer’s group that failed. She went on to success. I went on to blog ….


  • 2. Little old me  |  February 7, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Kat stick with it, all things come to those that wait. I really believe that.

  • 3. katcampbell  |  February 7, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Quilly – Like me, its never too late for you. We just have to stop being scared. Thanks for the link, I’m following it now.

    LOM – Thanks for the encouragement, you’re right.

  • 4. Mr. Fabulous  |  February 7, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    This post really hit home for me.

  • 5. katcampbell  |  February 7, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    Mr. Fab – I’ve often wondered how you fit a day job into all you do. So talented, so competent at touching the pulse of your public, you have nothing to fear my friend.

  • 6. LauraJ  |  February 7, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    You need a hug!! ((((((((((KAT)))))))))

  • 7. Leesa  |  February 7, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    WordPress ate my last comment.

    Good luck!

  • 8. rel  |  February 8, 2008 at 12:29 am

    If things run true to form, in know time you’ll be in a canundrum as to which offers to accept.

  • 9. Absolute Vanilla (an  |  February 8, 2008 at 12:40 am

    Oh I know the feeling only too well, Kat. I had a morning of a total “crisis of confidence”. I’d been watching some video clips from an agent about finding an agent and getting published – and I started to slide down that slippery slope of panic wondering how long it would take to get published, can I do it, am I good enough – all the usual stuff.
    I think we all go to this place at times, but the best we can do is pick ourselves up, regroup, refocus and carry on. If we’ve got to write, we’ve got to write.
    Sending you a great big {{{{{HUG}}}}}

  • 10. Hayden  |  February 8, 2008 at 7:28 am

    Wow, very insightful and honest, Kat. tough talk. It sounds a wonderful time to let the job hunt go. If you don’t have to do it, remind yourself we’re in a recession and you can always work later. After your book comes out.

  • 11. Shelli  |  February 8, 2008 at 8:29 am

    I think that Writer’s Fright is what keeps me from actually finishing a writing project.

    Failure schmailure. You will not fail. Get those poopy thoughts out of your head. They belong on the floor covered in spider webs.

  • 12. J.  |  February 9, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    I like Shelli’s ‘failure schmailure’.
    Ditto that.
    (even though I had to look up there to see how to spell it)

  • 13. stacy  |  February 10, 2008 at 3:37 am

    Hang in there, Kat. You’re doing what you’re meant to do and one of these days the right person is going to recognize it and fill that mailbox up!

  • 14. zhadi  |  February 10, 2008 at 5:09 am

    I identify and empathize with you SO much. I still have writer’s fright and am working hard to overcome it. You’re such a good writer, Kat, and I know you’ll be published. I agree with Rel – you’ll be figuring out which offer to take. Hang in there!

  • 15. Jon M  |  February 10, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    There is a book of roadkill recipes out in the Uk, the guy who wrote it was on TV not long ago!

    I’m sure the frenzy of a publisher bidding war is only a fraction from reality for you! 🙂

    Cheers, mate!
    Oh I picked up the tag too!

  • 16. John Linna  |  February 11, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    It is time to stop making excuses and write, Quit blogging if you have to. You can always write a great blog after your first book is published. Write girl! Write!

  • 17. mikeholm  |  February 18, 2008 at 2:05 am

    “I doubt I’m the only writer plagued by insecurities.”

    I can pretty much guarantee that. Witer’s Fright is a terrible thing. I try to ignore it in the hope that it will go away.


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The free-lance writer is the person who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps. (Robert Benchley)

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Shortly after I learned to use a spoon, I learned to use a pencil. Crippled by shyness as a child, I found that the things I couldn't say out loud, I could say with a pen, and then a typewriter. The shyness was overcome with education and age...but the need to write has never left me.

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