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Fear can be the enemy of creativity. Fear is what keeps a creative person both from starting a project and from ever finishing a project. It is easier to keep that story floating around inside your head a dream than doing the work of putting it down on paper. Once it is outside your head, other people can see it. And, judge it.

Fear of judgement can masquerade as perfectionism. I know a musician that has composed over a hundred excellent songs, that no one has ever heard. They will never be quite good enough, never quite done. He has worked on those songs for decades and says he wants to share them with the world. Fear has kept him from ever contacting an agent, or whatever the musical equivalent of an agent is.

In my writing life, I have met several people that after a while, I realized would never pursue publication in any form. One charming young woman was a member of a critique group of mine. She prepared well thought out critiques of other people’s pieces but never submitted anything. She would tells us the plots in her head but nothing ever ended up on the page. She couldn’t commit anything to print. After a while, we lost contact. Her fear kept her from interacting with the group.

Image: Mrs. Caudle’s Lecture via Wikimedia Commons