Friday, May 18, 2007

Writing fear

On Wednesday, I was reading Alfa King's post titled "Habits of daily, scheduled writing vs good writing habits" and it got me thinking about my own writing schedule and habits. I think you should approach writing as a habitual part of your day and not just wait for inspiration because too many excuses can get in the way of inspiration. You have to exercise those writing muscles to keep them in shape just like you have to exercise your body to keep it healthy. Yet, how do you get over the fear of failure? One line particularly struck me: "Sometimes we are scared we will never make it when we see the work of established writers." I sit down every day to write because I think the habit is more important than inspiration alone, yet my insecurities are my biggest writing block, not my schedule or my inspiration. I have a lot of inspiration for my novel. The ideas are flowing, I have a plan for the book, I even have a perfect writing schedule, and yet I am still paralyzed by the act of sitting down to write out each word. I'm afraid that I won't get the language right, that I will choose the wrong words to create the story. In some ways I'm afraid I will let down not only my family and friends if I fail, but also the writers that I look to for inspiration. They taught me how to love reading and through reading I learned how to write. I want to pass that on to future readers, and if I don't I'll feel as if I failed my teachers.

7 comments:

hellojed said...

Angie, I know what you mean. I also worry all the time about the quality of my writing, and feel down when I read other people's novels. I don't think I match up, and I'm afraid that people aren't going to think I'm good enough. But the thought of not finishing my novel is worse to me, after I've told so many people. I feel like I'd be letting them down if I don't finish it, even if it wasn't as good as I'd hoped.

Angie said...

I know what you mean. I guess that's why we keep driving on even when it's really hard and the writing feels like work.

Holler said...

God, yes, both of you keep going! You both keep me reading, so you must be doing something right! Angie, nearly 100 posts, yeah!

alfaking said...

The "writing fear" and the mental blocks are what I'd call negative emotions. Turn these into positive ones.

Remove the fear and put yourself in peace and calmness. Remove the blocks and replace by empowering thoughts.

Reprogramme your writing/submission so that it works for you rather than against you.

Thanks for the link back.

Cheers.

Angie said...

Holler, thank you for your very kind comments about my writing, which were very uplifting!

Alfaking, the trick is figuring out how to do that, but I'm working on it.

Helen said...

Although I am scared with my novel, I find it easier to sit down and write that than I do my non-fiction work. My ambition is to write feature articles as well as get my fictional writing published. I do have a plan of action and lots of themes and ideas but the feature writing work always gets sidelined because it is more immediate. i.e it could get rejected sooner. Your post struck me as even now I am sitting at the computer debating whether to write an article, but I can't. I am mentally paralysed.

Angie said...

Helen, I can see what you mean. I have a few articles tucked in back drawers, but I never send them out because I know the rejection could be imminent. I wish I found the novel writing easier too.