Writing Fearlessly

Fear is the enemy of creativity. If a writer is worried about what loved ones might think or some fanged reviewer might say or a certain disproportionately-vocal minority of readers might rant, they risk squandering the better parts of their imagination envisioning disastrous future scenarios. The writing become timid and toned-down, a bland, anonymous shadow that is easily forgotten.

To push back creative boundaries and work to his or her potential, somehow, the writer has to find a way to dissociate from the completed work. By the time any product hits the market, I make it a point to be working one or two manuscripts down the line. That way, I can look at my new release as an artifact of my own past -- the best work I could manage at the time I wrote it. Like a fickle lover, I'm always most enamored of my current creation or next conquest. The last is nothing but a fond memory.

This isn't to say that I don't sponge up praise like a happy glutton or feel bruised (sometimes bloody) over a particularly barbed remark toward the newly-published release. But in my heart, I know my goal is to write books that please their unique audience -- not to please every literate human on the planet.

Do you have any tips to share on how to write fearlessly? If so, I'd love to hear them.