Anywriter who spends any time thinking about showing their work to another person has likely felt fear. Unfortunately, that never goes away, according to the professionals who share tips.
I have already given my thoughts and book suggestions for getting the story written, but, obviously, there is more to learn. There is a deep connection between the fear of writing and good writing. Honestly, there should be a copy of “The Courage to Write” by Ralph Keyes (Henry Holt and Company, New York 1995) in the starter pack of every writer. You didn’t get the starter pack? Neither did I, but I did find the book at my local library. (And just in time.)
The book is at first a warm hand telling you all is well, and your fears are perfectly normal and–more importantly–useful, then there are a ton of examples of writers finagling their way around their fears to produce words of worth. (And writers are pretty creative when it comes to finding a comfortable way to write. Prepare to be shocked and amazed!) If you find you are lacking the courage to put your work out there, please seek out this book before giving up on yourself.
“Trying to deny, avoid, numb, or eradicate the fear of writing is neither possible nor desirable. Anxiety is not only an inevitable part of the writing process but a necessary part. If you’re not scared, you’re not writing. No message in this book is more important. A state of anxiety is the writer’s natural habitat.”
While we are on the subject of fear, there is a book that is incredibly useful in detailing the physical manifestations of fear, and when and why you should listen to your body/brain warnings. “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin de Becker (Originally published by Little, Brown and Company in 1997, now updated and published by the author through Amazon 2010.) is also useful in lots of other ways to writers and other persons just trying to navigate the world in unsafe times, and nearly as important as a reminder for trusting your intuition. (Intuition is sister to Inspiration. Ignore either of them at your peril, for sisters do gossip.)
“‘No’ is a word that must never be negotiated, because the person who choses to not hear it is trying to control you.”
Gavin de Becker
Here are the other posts in this series (although, they have not been cleaned up, yet):
- Butt in Chair
- The Monster in My Manuscript
- Take over the Literary World!
- When the Manuscript Goes Into the Garbage