The Fear of Success by Pam Billinge

On publication day of her first book, The Spell of the Horse, Pam Billinge reflects on the fear of success.  Guest post reblogged from Linda's Book Bag, first published on Sept 18th 2017.

Today my first book is published, The Spell of the Horse. Thank you to Linda’s Book Bag for the opportunity to write a guest blog to mark this special occasion. You can read Linda’s review of the book, along with the other publication week reviews, also on the Equest news page or on The Spell of the Horse Facebook page.


Writing a book, never mind publishing one, was beyond my wildest dreams a few years ago. When someone suggested that I should do so, to tell the story of how I came to do what I do for a living, I laughed with a self deprecating tone. ‘Yeah, sure!’ Owning a horse, too, was once a longing I thought would never be met. I still remember vividly the moment that my first horse Delilah was mine, after parting with way more money than I should have done. I was 28 years old and gazed at her over the top of her stable door with the adoration and wonder of a 6 year old.


My passion and respect for horses has only grown stronger over the intervening years and those I have known have helped me to be who I am. Now I work as a horse-led therapist and coach – a vocation which I wasn’t even aware could exist until many years into my career. The Spell of the Horse reveals how this path emerged for me and what horses have taught me, and others, about living a life with purpose and joy.


Writing The Spell, as I call her, took me on an emotional rollercoaster which I had not bargained for at the outset. Fear of failure and of being judged paralysed me at times, and almost stopped me signing my publishing deal. Yet continue I did and today The Spell is set free in the world to do her work. I hope that if you read her you will enjoy the stories and be captivated by the wonderful horses and people you encounter.


Perhaps the biggest surprise of all for me, in this writing journey, is that receiving praise for my book, and owning it, is a lot harder than hearing criticism (although I should like to add that if you do like my book please do tell me via the review pages!) This has led me to reflect on how it isn’t fear of failing which holds many of us back, it is the fear of being as great as we can possibly be. Because if you embrace your greatness fully, who knows what might happen?!


So today, do something to reach for your dream. That thing that you long for but feels out of reach. Why should you not have it? Be open to the path which is unfolding before you and trust where it is taking you, you are probably not even aware of your likely destination yet. Open your heart to receive and offer praise. Step into your own potential, and help those around you to do the same. And if a horse is still an unfulfilled childhood dream, remember…it is never too late!

'I confess, I thought The Spell of the Horse would be a twee book of sickly entries from a horse fanatic. My abject apologies Pam. There is nothing twee or sickly about the depth of emotion portrayed in this wonderful book. in fact, I found much of The Spell of the Horse so powerful I had to read it in chunks as I couldn’t deal with the emotions portrayed in big sessions. I shall be revisiting the pages of The Spell of the Horse many times and if you’re feeling lost in your life I urge you to read it too.'  Linda Hill

Read Linda's full review here.

Amazon Kindle  £3.49 & worldwide

Paperback, £8.99, Waterstones click & collect & available to order from all good bookshops