The Fear of Failure

I am a writer; a “creative”, if you will. I am never completely satisfied that I have done my best, given my all, achieved what I set out to achieve. I get so inside of the story I’m writing that I can’t look at it or read it objectively.

Fear of failure
It’s kind of the same as parenthood in a way. Always second guessing your choices and decisions; pouring your heart and soul into something and looking at the result and ALWAYS wondering if you could do more, be better, give more. The lack of objectivity that comes from being in the thick of it all the time, and that ever-lurking fear of judgement.

Although my ruining a story is nowhere near as overwhelming as ruining my kid; there is that same sense of being entrusted with something precious in having their faith and their story offered to you. And once you put it out into the world, it’s there for always, and might affect their lives and their kids, so there’s that.

Something precious

I have been swamped by insecurity this week. The Surrounded by Supermommies series has been such a huge part of my life for the past few months, as I’ve selected the amazing mommies, drafted the questions to take them through their journey and waited impatiently for the answers. I’ve kept it all to myself and planned and written the stories – in my head – non-stop for weeks.

Then this weekend, I finally got to immerse myself in the first story. I read answers and sorted through photos and memories and write and lived inside Melanie’s story for 2 days. And I really really struggled to put it out there.

I became convinced that I had taken her beautiful story and ruined it; that I had let her down and my readers down and the Mamahood down and myself down. I sat reworking it and rewriting it and swapping out pictures for over an hour after it was finished. Even after I hit publish, I kept going in and changing small details and adding things or taking them out.

The fear of failure on this series is so incredibly high. I have so much invested in it. I am a storyteller; I love to share other people’s stories. I so badly want to share these stories and help other mommies in similar situations to feel less alone, to give them hope. I so badly want to show the Supermommies how strong and inspiring they are. I want these stories to make a difference to people’s lives in a very real sense.Make a difference

I never understood people who referred to their crafts, their work, as their “child”. Sure there was a sense of responsibility and pride and fear and wonder when I created something that could affect another person; bring them joy or tears, change the way they view the world, even if for only that moment…

But children are people! What you put into them ~ the time, the love, the dedication, the soul ~ is a large part of what you get out of them. There is a sense of responsibility and pride and fear and wonder that you created this little human. At the end of the day, or after a few years at least, you send them out into the world and they affect other people… bringing them joy or tears, changing the way they view the world, even if for only that moment.

Oh, wait…

I’m likely using a smidge of literary license to make my point. I don’t feel this angst and anxiety when I post my own story; or at least, very rarely. But these interview stories I have been doing, they are different to me, and the fear of failing so many people is very big and very real to me. So maybe you’ll let me get away with it a little?

Am I alone in this? What is that one thing that you pour your heart into and nurture and grow that feeds it all back to you and brings you that same sense of pride and responsibility?

Sending all the love xx


  1. says

    I think you’ve gone to a lot of effort and produced something very professional. I also re-read alot but that’s because of wanting to check spelling and grammar!

    • Pregnant In Cape Town says

      Thanks so much Heather. I wish more people would reread for spelling and grammar 😀 x

  2. says

    I feel nervous every time I hit the publish button. A zillion million questions pop into my head, the most frequent is “who even cares?!” It’s a constant struggle, but one worth sticking out. You’re doing a flipping great job and you shouldn’t doubt yourself!

    • says

      Thanks so much Cindy ❤️ I spent even longer trying to decide whether or not to publish this one very reassuring to hear you – who is the most awesome of awesomes – go through It too x

  3. says

    I know the feeling!!! Just posted something similar on my blog about me being my worst critic. As for you, I think you’re great! Keep doing what you’re doing.

    My writing is my “child” too. :)

    • Pregnant In Cape Town says

      Thank you so much for yout kind words AND for making me feel less alone. Just read your featured blog interview earlier today & thoroughly enjoyed it; you made me laugh out loud 😀 xx

  4. Tamarah says

    You do brilliantly every time. As long as you tell the stories with compassion, respect and love (which you always do), you can’t fail anyone. Exactly the same as when you raise your child that way, you can never be as bad parent.

    • Pregnant In Cape Town says

      Thank you for your belief and encouragement honey; and as always, for your wisdom xxx

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