Dear Fellow Writers,
I do hope this letter finds you well and writing.
It occurred to me the other day that one of the worst obstacles for us in starting our writing journey is
We have so many fears and insecurities on a regular basis without adding the ones that come from wanting to write. I mean, unless you’re writing for yourself, in a journal which no one will ever see, you are risking putting yourself out there for the entire world to either applaud or abhor.
Will they like what I’ve written? Will they agree with me? Will I entertain them enough for them to buy more? Will they spread the word and get others to read me? Or, will they read the first sentence of my opus and decide that I’m actually a drunk baboon banging away on the laptop, while hanging upside down and eating a banana peel.
So, put away the banana and listen up. I’m gonna tell you a little secret. Ready? Here it goes:
Every writer on the face of this planet deals with a metric crap-ton of fear.
There. Now you know the truth. It doesn’t matter if it’s J.K. Rowling, Clive Cussler, Nicholas Sansbury Smith, G.S. Jennsen or you. All. Of. Us. Fear!
But how then, do we keep writing when fear is attempting to paralyze us like we’re frozen in place while trying not to blink at a Weeping Angel? (Dr. Who reference for those who don’t understand.)
There are many different ways to fight fear out there. Some are really out there. I’m talking outside the galaxy out there. But I have found some that make sense to me and I thought I’d pass them on.
Professional playwright, Lindsay Price, says:
You need to fight the fear…
Don’t be afraid of something that hasn’t happened yet with your writing. Don’t let fear stop you from picking up a pen or finishing a draft. Take a deep breath when the scolding starts and do the only proactive thing possible.
Professional speaker and author, Dr. Kathleen Begley says:
Just remember that feelings aren’t facts. Breathe deeply, accept the emotion, and let it go.
Here’s the deal. You absolutely must fight fear with every ounce of energy you can muster. You simply cannot give in.
Writer’s overcome their fears when they do one thing: Begin.
We are not told that we can only be writers when we no longer fear. We are not told to hide our fear under pretense and fakery. We are not told that having fear will negate our right to write.
We are told to fight. To step forward and tell fear to take a flying leap. You fight it like you’re fighting Mike Tyson to get out of a pit full of zombies so you don’t become a finger food. Literally. (I don’t have to outrun the Zombies. Just Mike Tyson. Let him fight ’em.)
You fight by sitting down, writing like your life depends on it and purposing not to think about what others are gonna say. You put butt to seat, fingers to keyboard and you type. Use a timer and sprint through 20 minutes. See how many words you can crank out. Get up, stretch, get a drink of
vodka water, sit down and do it again. Before long, you’ll see that you’ve written more than you thought you could. Keep writing. Keep pushing. Keep telling yourself that each word is a flaming brick thrown through the window of the establishment of trepidation.
Before you know it, you’ll have a first draft and can go celebrate with a cannoli and a mocha.
Also, remember that while you’re doing the writing you are alone (unless you have 2 precocious parakeets, or a cantankerous cat, or a delightful dog). However, you don’t have to take this journey alone. Find other writers you can commiserate with. We can support each other with encouragement, “Ata Boys”, coffee breaks and shoulders to cry on.
Get a tribe of people who believe in you and your dream. Let them
smack encourage the fear out of you.
But most of all, choose to believe in yourself. Know you aren’t perfect and will make mistakes and learn from those situations.
Whatever you do, don’t let fear win. If it does, your voice, your story your dream will be silenced forever and the world will be the lesser for it.
A Fellow Writer
Who is kicking fear in the teeth.