After reading the previous posts by my fellow potatoes, I'm amazed at the similarity of our writing fears, and I begin to wonder if writers, in general, are better writers because of our fears. If we all wrote fearlessly, we might not take the time for that very necessary revision process. We might not pare down our ramblings or search for the perfect words. We might not work to make our characters believable and our settings real.
Beyond the fear of not producing more work or not even making the time to write, my greatest fear in the writing process is not being able to come up with a plot. I have no shortage of characters and settings and rough ideas, but can I incorporate them into a believable story with a beginning, middle, climax, and resolution? Can I pull it all together?
Once I've worked through that process successfully enough to please myself and an editor, I must face the fear of releasing my work to the world. I venture to say that the majority of serious writers are introverts because writing is such a private and lonely process. The thought of sudden exposure can be exhilarating and paralyzing at the same time--especially in this age of the internet. Even though I tell my students time and again that they can never please everyone and they must focus on pleasing themselves and their particular audience, I still wear my own heart on my sleeve. It's a scary process--putting your heart and soul out for the general public to read and comment upon.