Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Writing Through Fear

It happens to all writers. You’re chugging along. The plot flows, the characters talk and, suddenly . . .

It’s not a block.

But you begin to second-guess yourself. You begin to edit as you write, not because the work is ready for editing yet, but because you’ve lost confidence in yourself.

Sometimes it happens because you got a rejection regarding another project. Sometimes it comes after a harsh session with your writers’ group. Sometimes, a choice word from someone close to you sets you off, or an inconsiderate comment from a non-writer acquaintance.

The words start to look odd on the page. You start to think you’re no good as a writer, or that you can’t possibly make it a career.

Take a deep breath.

And don’t leave the page.

Push through it, write through it. Don’t let your own fears or someone else’s agenda be what stops you from writing. Remember, writing requires an enormous amount of time and space, both physically and emotionally. Those around you have to adjust. It often doesn’t fit into their agendas and their convenience, so they will try to sabotage you.

If you are serious about writing, you must remove these people from your life no matter what. Even relatives can be controlled – must be controlled – when it comes to your writing. Your writing is non-negotiable.

Don’t use others as your excuse not to write. And then, get out of your own way and write.

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