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Fear of Failure

Pintails in Flight

Four males vying for one job opening. The photo is a shot of pintail ducks during the spring migration. If you look closely you’ll see there is one hen surrounded by four handsome drakes, all hoping to be the one she chooses as a mate. Three will fail and only one will prevail, the starting point for this week’s blog. Inspiration comes from the oddest places!

I just uploaded the finished files for the sixth book in my Destination Death mystery series to all retailers, two weeks before it goes live and can be purchased. No matter how many times I go through this process I always experience a moment of misgiving as the files upload: Did I tell the story I set out to tell? Will the readers like it or have I let them down?

Fortunately the misgiving passes as I am already onto the next book, otherwise the fear of failure could prevent me from writing another word.


Nah. I’m happy to say I’ve finally grown past that. I do my best, and I’ve learned (one of the perks of advancing years) that my best is all I can do. I write because I love to tell stories. I can’t imagine doing anything else. Someone asked me if I’ll return to the first books I wrote and rewrite them to bring them up to my current skill level.

I gave it some serious thought, but eventually realized that every story serves as a record of my journey as an author. Would Picasso redo his early works? Of course not. Besides, I’d rather write a new story than use the time rewriting one I’ve already told, especially since I always write the best story I can at the time. As long as I do that, I can never fail.

Don’t let fear stop you from living the life you want to live. Fear is an insidious destroyer of dreams. Acknowledge it, then push it aside and act. It only has the power you give it. Don’t let fear stop you from achieving your dreams. Remember, three of those pintail drakes will fail in their quest for that particular hen, but there will be another hen, another opportunity. You can’t realize a dream if you never try.

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