Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Got fears? A writer's top three! by Dana Mentink



Since it's Halloween week and all, I've been thinking about the topic of fear. When I wear my suspense writer hat, I spend a lot of time considering what makes people break out in goosebumps. Turns out, there are some common fears that many of us share. According to a Gallup poll, the top three fears are: snakes, public speaking and heights. I don't personally have those fears (I'm scared of the dark, chickens, deep water and other nonsensical things) but as a writer, I've got a few that give me shivers. Here are my top three writing fears.

1. My book finally hits the shelves, my magnum opus! The jewel of my writing career and...gasp! Choke! My name is misspelled on the cover. A minor point, you say? Picture it....Love and Larceny by Dana MENSTINK! Arrgh!

2. And what could be worse than an, um, unfortunate typo. I put together my well crafted sentence about the rugged hero and his pickup only instead of "truck" I substitute another letter for the "tr." Makes my stomach clench just imagining it!

3. How about this scenario? I've been given the green light to submit a proposal to a big publishing house. I'm so thrilled that I stay up for 72 hours straight perfecting each and every word. Deadline approaching, I quickly attach the file and hit the send button and later this big New York editor replies. My pulse races until I realize she's inquiring why I sent her my daughter's second grade essay on whales instead of my sizzling romance. Now THAT'S scary!

So what are you afraid of? Would love to hear what makes your heart go pitty patty?.

23 comments:

  1. Dana,
    Well, you didn't list spiders. I really, truly have a phobia against them. Odd, not so much afraid of snakes. But I don't like heights. Not deathly afraid like with spiders large or small. I sometimes feel panic over speaking in public. My throat closes up. I'm sure I'm going to faint in front of God and everyone. A strange fear I used to have when cafeteria diners were so popular---that I would make my choices, get to the end and not have enough money to pay. I'd die of embarrassment. The older I get the more stupid fears creep in. Love the post, gave me a few more things to worry about.

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    1. My youngest girl, Boo Boo, is terrified of spiders. The oldest used to come in Boo Boo's room and kill the spiders, but she'd charge a dollar to remove the body! Mercenary!

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  2. Well, if I wasn't afraid of those things before-I am now! lol. Especially the one about them mispelling your name seeing as how we will be sharing a book cover on shelves in March lol! (Yay) My fears are escalators and frisbees in my real life (no doubt there's some childhood trauma attached to those) and my writing fears are...everything! Bad book cover, typos, the submission process, the waiting, the 'we loved it, but...' rejection letters, etc...Great post!

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    1. Yep, I've got plenty of those 'we loved it, but....' letters also, Jennifer! :)

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  3. Excellent post. So sorry about those typos in your books. I used to have a fear of snakes until I attended camp, training to be a supervisor. I saw this man coming toward us to give a talk, and I could swear he put a snake in his jacket. Sure enough, he pulled it out and told us how we should respond to the children’s fears or interests. We had better not be super screamers when some twelve-year-old brought in a snake for show and tell. We all had to touch it. Haven’t had any problems since then. Also, got over my fear of public speaking, but heights still make my knees go numb.

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  4. This is why I'm glad we don't allow live animals for show and tell in school anymore, Marion!

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  5. Oh, the dreaded typos....yeah, that's right there at the top. I think my biggest fear is someone saying they don't buy into the premise or "that can never happen--this is so stupid". Yeah, moving past that would be tough, LOL.

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  6. I just did a talk at my women's class at church about fears. Number one in the US right now, according to one poll, is Ebola. Never even thought of that one.

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    1. Really? Ebola? That surprises me, but I guess a fear of germs and disease must be pretty common.

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  7. Dana, I'm laughing so hard. But of course I'd fear those things too! And I have to agree with Jennifer on frisbees. Hard piece of plastic flying fast toward my face and/or stinging the skin off my hand? No thanks. And if it hit my lap top before I hit save...

    I don't like heights either. So I'd say trying to write a book while sitting at the edge of a cliff and having a wind knock my glass of water all over my laptop before I've saved...would be a fear ;).

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  8. Yep, that would do it, Rula, especially if a spider dropped by on the edge of your cliff!

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  9. Dana! You're hilarious! MENSTINK! Terrible name for a romance writer. I fear the dark, the wind, and thunder. (My husband says if you're going to be afraid, be afraid of the lightning, thunder's only noise - but fear isn't rational.) In my writing life, I met my worst fear ten years ago when it ended. And then it was resurrected, so I've looked the devil in the eye, and now fear nothing. ( Believe it or not, NOT writing doesn't kill you.)

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  10. Yes, Muriel, it would be a terrible name for a romance writer! I totally agree that fear isn't rational. Way to go putting your fears behind you! You GO girl! :)

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  11. Dana, you are so funny! In writing I have the "send" fear of attaching/sending the wrong document. In real life I am afraid of the dark and frogs. My sister and I shared a room when we were kids and we would wage nightly battles over the hall light being on or off. My worst fear though is frogs. They terrify me and somehow they smell my fear and live to torment me--often lunging at me and going for my throat. There are a TONS of them here where I live and I could do an entire blog post about my traumatic frog experiences. A couple examples...Two different times I've had a frog jump on my head from a hanging flower basket and numerous times I've slipped on my shoes or rubber boots only to feel a frog beneath my bare foot. Needless to say-- I could easily score a "scream part" in a horror film.

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  12. Oh man! A frog nightmare! Where do you live, Carol?

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    1. Tell me about it...LOL! We live in SW Washington and there is a nice swampy spot not far from our house. I think it's a premier frog "greeting ground" for the tri-state area.

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  13. I can't really think of anything I'm deathly afraid of, but I do fear hitting send and sending the wrong thing.

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  14. snakes, typos that are misconstrued (not taken as typos), and losing my muse (which really means enjoying life to the point my butt isn't in the writing chair)

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  15. Well...it's not entirely a bad thing to enjoy your life that much, Melinda! :)

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  16. Hilarious, Dana! I think I have the same fears as you. I hate pressing that button to send anything. I cannot look at something I sent after I sent it because I ALWAYS find an error I missed the one million times I looked it over before I sent it. Always.

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  17. I agree, Amy. I'd rather remain in ignorance about the mistakes I've just sent! :)

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  18. LOL. I love your fears! I'm so afraid one day I'll say "reply all" and lose every friend I have! Great post!

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