View Full Version : There's no Writers' Analysts' Couch board, is there?

01-27-2005, 08:20 AM
I'm looking for the right spot to confess my fears -- the ones that stop me from doing much besides reading message boards and rearranging my files. My writing fears, specifically. I used to be "Too Busy" to write, or too this or too that...now I've whittled away all the thisses and thats, I'm left with just getting down to it. And I'm not getting down to it. Turns out I'm scared!

They aren't rational, these fears. So I don't think I need reassurance that I don't *need* to fear these things. I just need to, you know, express them. To write about them.

-- My idea is so good someone will steal it before I can bring it to fruition.

-- My idea is so good, I won't be able to do it justice.

-- I'm embarassed to submit articles to my local paper because the people there who would reject me would be right here in town!

-- It's not possible for me to be a writer because I'm too timid and shy to actually promote myself or my work.

-- If something I wrote about my [mom, dad, kids] were published, they might see it and then uh-oh. (My husband can take it.)

-- My idea isn't really so good -- obviously if it were, someone would be doing it.

-- I'm afraid to talk to sources/experts because I wouldn't do it right. I'd waste their time and then they'd hate me. Also, they'll steal my idea. (This is starting to make me laugh. What an egomaniac I must be!)

-- People will find out I'm an egomaniac without knowing my other characteristics, which are the endearing ones.

-- I'm probably not such a good writer, really, anyway.

-- I don't know enough about this writing stuff to do it in public. Those in the know will just roll their eyes and wish I would go away.

Well, that's a start. Thanks for listening. I think it's time for a cup of tea. (With a little brandy in it! :\ )


aka eraser
01-27-2005, 12:25 PM
Let's see...angst aplenty...mostly unrealistic fears...good insight...rampant doubt...darned good punctuation...

Yep! You have all the necessary skills to become a published writer!


Most of us have been there. Some still are. Some haven't gotten that far yet.

Writing is a solitary, usually contemplative activity; a perfect environment for our demons to come out and frolic. We learn to deal with them by keeping our goals in sight, and achievable.

If falling down was the end of the world, none of us would be walking now. I could probably whip up a couple of thousand words to address your points but they can be boiled down to the Nike slogan: Just do it.

Study markets and how they want to be approached. Armed with an idea - write it and then submit it to a likely market. Accept form letter rejections with equanimity and learn from the personalized ones. If an idea is stolen (an unlikely event) you'll have others.

Your post tells me you've got the chops. You just need to start doing it - and keep on doing it until you're successful.

01-27-2005, 08:34 PM
<a href="http://www.ralphkeyes.com/pages/books/courage/" target="_new">"The Courage to Write" by Ralph Keyes</a>

Good book. I definitely recommend it. But don't worry, you're not alone! <img border=0 src="http://www.ezboard.com/images/emoticons/happy.gif" />

Oh, and read this recent post on the PaperBack Writer Blog:

<a href="http://pbackwriter.blogspot.com/2005/01/courage.html" target="_new">pbackwriter.blogspot.com/2005/01/courage.html</a>

01-27-2005, 09:19 PM
"Oh, and read this recent post on the PaperBack Writer Blog:


Yeah, he's been there, all right.

Lori Basiewicz
01-28-2005, 11:03 PM
What Frank said.

And whenever the going gets rough, come back here for a shoulder.

If you don't start writing and submitting now, when will you? Just a question to ponder.

01-29-2005, 12:15 AM
Oooo, that's good. I'm going to bookmark that one.


01-29-2005, 12:29 AM
(If Not Now, When?)

Good question. Seems like the answer is: when I'm driving or showering. Once I get to the computer -- paralysis.

Meanwhile, I really appreciate aka eraser's response, too. What a good place this water cooler is.


01-30-2005, 02:17 AM
Hi, pk,

I wanted to respond to this sooner but I've been really busy writing.

But about five years ago, you wouldn't have found me writing. You wouldn't have found me even THINKING about writing.

That's because I've had these fears, too. Believe me, I know what it's like. I've had every one. But there is one book that really helped me crawl out of my shell and write again: Dennis Palumbo's Writing From the Inside Out. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0471382663/qid=1107022417/sr=2-1/ref=pd_ka_b_2_1/104-7325741-8668769) This book helped me grasp and work through my fears. I HIGHLY recommend it.

Also, eraser's advice is straight on: Just do it. You don't have to write a behemoth of a piece; just start small and write a little here and there. You could try keeping a journal or writing little notes here and there.

My new book also talks about this but I REALLY think I've hyped it to death around here. ;)

Best of luck to you and here's hoping we'll be seeing some of your writing very soon. Take care.


01-30-2005, 03:09 AM
That Palumbo book looks good. I've added it to my amazon.com wish list.

This goes with my inside-out motif. I have a bumber-sticker on my car that says "Waldorf: Education from the Inside Out." I think I'll stick to the traditional way of wearing my clothes though. For now anyhow.

Thanks, Dawn, your perspective helps.


Sailor Kenshin
01-30-2005, 04:14 AM
I know you. You think I don't, but I do.

I know what you'll do today. You'll get on the computer, and see your homepage screaming BRAD AND JEN SPLIT while a tiny, 8 pt. link under it tells you that the tsunami death toll is still rising.

Nope. Turns out Pback Writer doesn't know me at all.

02-06-2005, 02:15 AM
I have a book to suggest to you -- The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron. It's a great work for blocked creative people.

Best of luck! :)


02-06-2005, 04:52 AM
Might I suggest, The Writers Journey by Christopher Vogler...eh, how do you feel about that?

02-08-2005, 01:34 AM
My "wish list" at amazon.com is getting pretty lengthy!

It should come as no surprise that one gets book recommendations when oen asks about one's problems on a writers' board. <img border=0 src="http://www.ezboard.com/images/emoticons/smile.gif" />


aka eraser
02-08-2005, 01:54 AM
Well heck pkpk, if you're adding books to a wish list you might as well add mine too. No, it won't help the problems you outlined but it'll give you a chuckle or three and teach you an invaluable cure for writer's block: going fishing.

Okay. Maybe not a cure exactly - more like a treatment plan.


02-08-2005, 04:10 AM
Frank, when you're right, you're right. I totally need that book. I've now read every page of your website. It is good. I really like the sample chapters from your book and your newsletter too. I'm dejected, though not surprised, to learn that you are way more conscientious housekeeper than is me. Mostly everyone is, it turns out.


02-08-2005, 05:16 AM
Hold on, Frank. I think you were in the right to suggest your book here. Water can, after all, spark a blocked muse into action. I don't know how or why, but something about water gets the creative juices flowing.

aka eraser
02-08-2005, 07:57 AM
Thanks pkpk for those kind words. :)

And Dawn, I think you're absolutely (write) right.

02-08-2005, 08:31 AM
I don't know how or why, but something about water gets the creative juices flowing.

That explains all the brilliant ideas I get in the shower. If I could just find a waterproof laptop, I'd be all set.


02-08-2005, 03:39 PM
I don't have a lot of credits, but I do have several finished mss, pkpk, so I'll offer this bit of advise. Don't start with the first chapter in a book or the first paragraph in an article, start where you're comfortable. That is in a book start with the scene you see in your mind. Write it down, then either write from there to the end and go back and write from the beginning to that scene or start at the beginning and write to it, then finish. The first page of the first chapter is terribly hard and usually has to be re-written when you finish the book anyway.
The first time I did this, the scene I got was the last four pages of the next to last chapter. The characters, who were complete strangers to me, where in the middle of a life and death climax. I wrote it, then wrote the chapter before that. Then I got to know them and figured out who they were as I figured out how they got there.

If you have computer freezing - your fingers hang about three inches over the keyboard and nothing happens, try a pen and piece of paper. A whole page too intimidating? Try folding the page in half.

Organize your worry, don't use it up all at once. Worry about submitting it after it's done. Worry about publisher reading it after you get an agent. Worry about people reading it after you get a publisher. If you're really shy, and I understand that, use a pen name. Actually, if you plan right now on using a pen name, the words may start flowing.