View Full Version : I discovered my fear.

11-14-2006, 09:35 PM
I guess maybe we all have that top story in our heads - that story we know will be the best seller. I have one, I'm thinking about it right now. I know it will be awsome and I am DESPERATE to have it done.

Note, I said have it done, not writing.

So whats stopping me from writing this top story thats been in my head forever?


Fear of what? Fear that it will suck. Fear that I won't ever be able to make as good as it can be. Every time I read another book thats supposed to be good, I get jealous and feel unworthy of writing it. Like, if its not tip-top, it shouldn't be written until I am tip-top!

Want the truth? I'm only 18. I've only finished a short story and writeen 200K words of a novel that despertly needs to be revised. I've written reports, won a writing contest, finished short stories for schools. But thats all. I'm still awaiting feedback for my short story - and that will take until the end of the month. I have another novel to write - and I wouldn't mind sitting down now and writing it. But truth be known I'd much rather be working on my top idea.

But besides it not being good enough? Heres my other fear.

Becoming a recluse. I know when you become a writer you almost become a recluse, and I dont want that. I don't have carry around lap-top access, which means I couldn't write while out of home. The number one thing I can't stand is wasting my time. And for some reason I feel like Im wasting my time when I write. So what am I supposed to do?

I feel a desperate need to write this novel- real desperate. I don't know why, but I JUST DO.

Whith my short story, I sat down and wrote it in one sitting. I loved it. I also hated it. It wasn't perfect, BUT I FINISHED IT! So, now I'm on the major revising stage and hoping to send it to editors when done.

I'm terrified to write this novel, like I'm so stuck in writing it I'm at the computer for seven hours a day, not getting my exercise, becoming a recluse, it just scares me! Though, I'm desperate to just get it done.
One short story to finish, one half-written novel, and the one that I feel the urge to finish but am not in the mood to write. What should I do?

Little Red Barn
11-14-2006, 09:48 PM
Vaxil, sweetie, sounds like you are fearing fear itself. You have a gift, that few have in the world...don't worry about what if's, they'll only drive you crazy as well as false imaginings... And yes there will be others greater than you and less as well. I write but I am not a recluse...try setting a schedule for your writing time and stick with it. Hope this helps and a big hug coming your way, kimmi

11-14-2006, 09:58 PM
Writers write. It's really that simple. If you're making excuses not to write, then maybe you're not ready to make the commitment it takes to finish a novel. You don't have to become a recluse to write. Plenty of writers manage to crank out work and still have a social life. Stephen King plays in a band.

We all fear that our writing won't be good enough. Most of the time it doesn't measure up to the ideal we have in our heads. What does?

If you really want to write this thing, buckle down and do it, Vaxil. Good luck.

11-14-2006, 10:05 PM


So you write it and it sucks.

And....? Who's life hangs in the balance?

That's why you edit.

Then you get to the end of the edit and it sucks.

And....? The fate of the free world depends on this draft being perfect?

That's the job. That old chestnut that writing is rewriting is old and a chestnut for a very good reason. It's true.

Everyone worries they can't do justice to that ONE idea. I know I do. SOme folks worry about it with every new project! My way around it is to write other stuff until I get up the courage to take that big one down. The idea isn't going anywhere. There is no "use by date."

As for wasting time. Sometimes you gotta do just that. And frankly, it sounds like you need to do it more than most.

But in truth it's never a waste if you gain something from it. And you ALWAYS get something.

Look up at the clouds near the end of the day and check out the purple and pink and orange and yellow and red in the sky. Did that get you anything other than maybe a very small warm and fuzzy, deep down? Prolly not. But don't dismiss that warm and fuzzy.

Sit in a park or a mall, grab a coffee or a pretzel or an ice-cream and watch the people go buy. Read them. Understand them. Learn from them. Make them more interesting. Maybe all you get is a feeling that there are some people out there with way more worries than you. And if that's all you get, that's no bad thing.

But with each of those two wastes of time, you got a mental picture of a sky that you might well come back to in a story, or the genesis of a character for something else.

This isn't a sprint, dude. It's not even a marathon. It's a stroll. Everything on the way is more important than the destination.

I got some harsh news for you. All your early writing is carp. Seriously. It's embarrassing. Anyone who claims different is lying. But it's never beyond ressurection and even the stinkiest carp you write, if you keep going, becomes the richest loam for what you will grow later.

So now, go, write carp and write lots of it. It's OK. You have permission to stink. Then take that horrible stuff and make something great from that.

11-14-2006, 11:25 PM
If you write it, and it's not right, put it away. Write another, or two. And someday, you'll realize what's wrong with it and come back and fix it.

That's the worse case scenario.

But what if you write it, and this passion you've expressed bleeds onto the pages. You love oyur characters and everyone else loves them. They fear for them and feel their pain and joy and it's a fabulous story!

They're both equally possible and neither is really too bad. Go for it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

BTW, you might find that beign a recluse grown on you. It did on me. I rather like it.:)


11-15-2006, 12:13 AM
I know that fear all too well. It's that little voice that sits in the back of your head, criticizing every word you type. It plays with your mind, trying to make you second-guess your talents as a writer.

To silence it, I just type and type to drown out the noise. I figure it's better to have something - anything - on paper. How can you edit it if you have nothing to edit?

So just dive right in and worry about the end product later.