Dont Worry What Mother Will Think

In the last chapter we pointed out how unhealthy frightened self-criticism can be for the fiction writer. Closely related to this kind of worried hang-up is concern about what other people might think of the writer once her story is published.

Usually the feared future critic is mother. Sometimes it's a husband or wife, a child, or even a dear friend. (I spent some time during the early years of my writing career worrying what a sainted aunt would think.)

Such worries are normal, but you must not let them hamstring your creative efforts. If you can't entirely banish such worry from your mind, then consider adopting a pen name. For you have plenty of other things to worry about, and frightened self-censorship simply has to be jettisoned at once.

Of course you want to be bound by the dictates of good sense and good taste. But these are a far cry from groundless worries about a stern and unforgiving moral arbiter. One of the great joys of writing fiction is that you are free. You must believe this and act like it. You must never, ever allow yourself to get hung up on fears of what some family member or friend might think on a personal level.

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