FEAR COMES: Eight Short Stories, Long on Fear

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If this is difficult, remind yourself that everyone who wants to become a writer, must start somewhere, and now is your time. When I was in my mid -twenties, I spent years struggling to finish anything. I wrote dozens of short stories and abandoned them. I thought of articles I wanted to write for newspapers; I researched them and then I never finished them. Instead, I got a job as a journalist writing for a newspaper. On other occasions, the sub-editors of the paper reworked my article entirely. Having my work being taken apart like this was brutal, but at least I was getting paid to write.

Enter contests and submit your articles to magazines or to websites when these deadlines elapse. Make a public commitment to a group of people you trust, e. As you get into the habit of finishing your work, you will win more opportunities to gain feedback about your work. The former will give you the confidence to keep writing, and the latter will help you become a better writer.

I almost deleted this post several times, before I hit publish. I could lock myself in a room and write about a caretaker of a hotel who goes insane and tries to kill his family The Shinning. Or, I could explain how to overcome the inertia of perfectionism. Show the world what you created. And then let them judge it in all its ugly imperfections. Respond if you need to or move on. To become a writer, rejection waits for you at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of your work. It goes where you go. Everybody who succeeds gets rejected.

By turning up and creating, you cut through your fear of writing. Even if some people reject your work, others will embrace it. You could win the next contest. Your next interview request may be granted. You must write now. You must write like your life depends on it.


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Oh boy — I need to process this insightful article. For now, let me just thank you, Bryan, for your gut-wrenching honesty. Great reminders Bryan. I think you have to face these fears repeated times when writing. But this is a good reminder I just need to start and get going with it. Such a good post. I like to take a walk and let the thoughts bubble up. Then like you, get away fro tne internet and write in my journal.

This article is definitely motivates fresh bloggers. Most of the time newbie spends time on consuming contents rather than creating one. Again, the range is huge. I looked up five years of nominees from to and the range was 5, to over 1. The mean was , and the median was 72, They ranged from 2, to , with a mean of 35, and a median of 12, On average, a lot more. I checked the BookScan sales for all the books that hit the 1 spot on the New York Times list in and the mean sales were , with a median of , The top selling book was, as you can probably guess, 50 Shades of Grey at nearly 8 million.

In fact, a whole lot of the literary award finalists sold better than bottom best sellers. I myself have always believed this to be honest, even though I wrote and published a short story collection. However, looking at the data it actually seems that while fewer story collections sell, the ones that do can sell almost as well as novels.

The seven story collections on the NYT list had a median of 23, BookScan sales… only 2k less than the median novel. Well, no. Those are mostly collections by buzzed about debut authors or established older writers. No story collection is going to sell millions of copies like the biggest novels. All of the authors whose collections I counted in the last section sold better as novelists if they had novels out. Since big publishers survive on the few break-out books, it makes more business sense to bet on novels or push authors to write novels instead of stories.

Still, it was heartening for me, as a lover of short stories, to see that collections from authors like Junot Diaz, Alice Munro, and George Saunders can BookScan over k, and a collection by someone like Stephen King can reach a million. YA fiction is also having a much-discussed boom these days. Non-fiction is an insanely huge category that encompasses everything from craft books and joke books to travel guides and memoirs. While there is some variation in average sales between different types of novels, non-fiction sales are entirely dependent on which of the 1, types of non-fiction books you are talking about.

If you publish your book through an established press, you can most likely guarantee a certain level of professionalism, distribution, and hopefully coverage for your book. Self-publishing, on the other hand, contains both professional full-time authors who spend time and money marketing their books as well as people who just think it would be fun to put an ebook up on Amazon and never spend any time marketing. Another surprising to me at least fact from the data I looked at is that books quite often sell the same amount in hardcover and paperback editions.

If a book truly takes off, the paperback sales will eclipse the hardcover many times over. But for most books that are published in hardcover first, the paperback sales will be close to the same. To add even more confusion, ebook prices fluctuate a lot more than paperback or hardcover. It is simply hard to pin down.

I often hear that fiction is basically just an irrelevant niche and no one reads books at all.

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If the average well-distributed novel is BookScanning only 10, copies, that seems pretty niche. Then again, there are plenty of industries where sales of 10k per product would be respectable. And we have to remember that the actual number of sales might be 20,, and then maybe 30, people have read the book since plenty of people use libraries, pirate, or borrow books from friends.

Every year, dozens of new books sell k copies on BookScan, and a couple sell a million.

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A recent Author Earnings report suggested maybe 4, writers earn 50k a year off of book sales alone. Not so shabby, maybe, until you realize that about that many MFA students graduate each year.

And honestly, even getting a thousand strangers to read something you poured your heart and soul is pretty okay. Lincoln Michel is the former editor-in-chief of Electric Literature and a founding editor of Gigantic. He teaches fiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College. Sign up for our newsletter to get submission announcements and stay on top of our best work. When the inevitable disagreements and differences come up in a relationship, he stuffs his feelings and drifts away.

He prefers email or texts when dealing with uncomfortable issues. Instead he becomes passive-aggressive , gently slipping away as his texts and calls fade out—or he quickly dumps you before you can dump him. Above all, he fears rejection, a feeling so painful, that it is almost like annihilation, like being completely destroyed.

So he slithers around any direct conflict. Many men suffer from some degree of this conflict-avoidant pattern. And they stay elevated. Because men, unlike women, have a more difficult time soothing and quieting themselves down after any kind of upset. So they may pull away and distance themselves emotionally in order to calm down. He was awestruck by her delicate beauty. Riko looked up to Emmett and his great intelligence. Nonetheless, he told me in numerous sessions how he was sure she would get disenchanted and leave him.

He shared his unhappiness with me but even after my prodding, he refused to tell his lover. Eventually, Emmett agreed to a joint session with Riko. He was very nervous that when he was straight with Riko she would storm out like his mother, who had a difficult personality. But with support, he was able to speak his truth. Riko was fine about it. Whenever she brought this up, Emmett tended to clam up and withdraw. Fear of Rejection Warning Signs : He avoids angry exchanges like the plague.

Because of the strong mothering pressure that most men experience growing up, fear of being controlled is also a common pattern. In my experience, men value their independence and freedom even more greatly than women. Remember that in order to define their own separate identities, they really had to pull away from their mother early on in their lives. This battle for a separate identity is, according to some scholars on gender differences, harder for men than women. When the fear of smothering is very strong, it leads to classic commitment phobia. Talk of a future makes this guy quiet, nervous, upset or angry.

Guys who are afraid of smothering may be in an on-again-off-again relationship for years—where he always seems to want you when you break up because he then feels free and unencumbered—yet he just cannot pull the trigger and commit when you are together because it feels like he is losing his independence. If the relationship has progressed to having regular sex, he may need to make an escape by asking you to leave or going home instead of spending the night.

He may feel distant and emotionally unavailable to you. He may say he is not sure what love really is or that he is incapable of experiencing love. This is the guy who comes right out and says that he does not believe in love and marriage or getting serious and settling down with one person. No matter how much love he feels, this is a man who is terrified of jumping fully into a long-term relationship. It seems like his golf, buddies, bar days, sports, even the Super Bowl are going to be ripped away by the all-powerful, all-controlling vortex of the couple.

For this man, commitment, love and marriage mean being trapped in a cage from which there is no escape. Jon, a year old businessman had a series of relationships each lasting around six months to a year. At that moment everything would reverse and he would feel like the hunted one instead of the hunter. Jon would become anxious, agitated and feel like he had to get away from each woman at all costs, as if his very life depended on it.

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In his last relationship, Jon claimed that he was forced into an actual engagement. But he was saved by an unlikely ally. He told me that right after he gave her the ring, he started having full-blown panic attacks. With these frightening symptoms, Jon felt like he had the excuse he needed. He told his girlfriend that something was really wrong with him and he broke up with her. During therapy, Jon came to realize that his fear of being smothered had destroyed his last relationship and would prevent him from any chance at real love.

Only then did he begin working seriously on facing and overcoming his severe commitment fears. Fear Of Being Controlled Warning Signs : He may act like a super confident captain of industry until he has to say the three magic words or you want a definite date or commitment. Then he turns and runs for cover.

Or he may act like your knight in shining armor where he takes orders from you, always looking to please you in a way that feels like he is one-down in the relationship. Until he balks when it comes to moving in together or getting engaged. Only then do you realize that his cooperation was an illusion. Because of not being prized and validated growing up, a man may have a core unconscious fear that he is simply not lovable. He feels insecure and not-good-enough. This type of guy is looking to you for approval, asking what you think, before he makes decisions.

In the beginning, he tries hard and works overtime to make you happy. His feelings depend on what you think and feel. If you are sad, disappointed, afraid, he is really upset and takes it as a measure of his fundamental lack of worth.

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The net effect is that he feels emotionally uncomfortable in the relationship, like it is not a good fit for him. He may feel like the woman is out of his league. Another sign of this particular type is the man that cannot tolerate your innocent flirting with guys or talking about your ex. He gets depressed , moody and withdraws.

If you cheat, forget about it: this man will not fight to win you back. Instead he will collapse internally under a mountain of self-hate. At a local bar, he met Felicia, a sloe-eyed and beautiful Pilates trainer. Jason was tipsy and confident as he swept Felicia away with his quick wit.

They wound up sharing that first night together. Felicia pursued Jason, asking him to join her at various parties and events.

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Jason came along, but usually had a few drinks to loosen up. One night, Felicia met her ex at a party and flirted with him. Seeing this, Jason sulked and withdrew from her. A few weeks later, he called the whole thing off, rejecting Felicia apparently before she could reject him. Or he seeks approval by doing things that are helpful or giving. He finds it hard to talk about his own wants and needs.

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He is more passive and tends to enjoy solitary activities including sports or computer games. He cannot handle any competition from other guys—it usually spells the end of the relationship. Men are biologically wired to perform and produce. Men often feel they must succeed at everything they do: in school; sports; video games; relationships; as lovers; as parents; and, as breadwinners. Some men feel that if they fail in any of these arenas, that they are losers.

This particular fear can make it very difficult to move forward into a committed relationship with a partner, no matter how terrific she is. His anxiety can be magnified if he is really smitten with her—so the more he is into her, the faster he thinks he will fail in some irretrievable way.

He may or may not have real feelings for her, even if they are together for years. Wayne, a year-old event promoter had a strong fear of not measuring up. Yet, Wayne turned out to be very successful at a relatively young age winning over club owners with his brash can-do attitude. On top of that, Wayne had managed to win the heart of the stunning Li, a year-old Broadway dancer, who had her choice of suitors.

They had been together for two years, but as she pressed to move into his place, he nervously told her he was not sure, that he did not know what love really was.

FEAR COMES: Eight Short Stories, Long on Fear FEAR COMES: Eight Short Stories, Long on Fear
FEAR COMES: Eight Short Stories, Long on Fear FEAR COMES: Eight Short Stories, Long on Fear
FEAR COMES: Eight Short Stories, Long on Fear FEAR COMES: Eight Short Stories, Long on Fear
FEAR COMES: Eight Short Stories, Long on Fear FEAR COMES: Eight Short Stories, Long on Fear
FEAR COMES: Eight Short Stories, Long on Fear FEAR COMES: Eight Short Stories, Long on Fear
FEAR COMES: Eight Short Stories, Long on Fear FEAR COMES: Eight Short Stories, Long on Fear
FEAR COMES: Eight Short Stories, Long on Fear FEAR COMES: Eight Short Stories, Long on Fear
FEAR COMES: Eight Short Stories, Long on Fear FEAR COMES: Eight Short Stories, Long on Fear

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