Joe’s Post #136
Actually, I’m not sure I can call this my post as I’m going to give the blog over to a guest blogger. I hope that other people will also be interested in blogging on our site, so please send us a note if you are. In the meantime, Sheila Watson was fortunate enough to take a workshop on something we’ve all been struggling with over the last few months. FEAR!
So, here it is. It has some great insights.
Part 1 (the 2nd part will be next week)
FEAR ˈfir/ noun
- 1. an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
The key word in the above definition is “belief”. Fear, as it relates to writing, is not real. There is no danger or threat in telling a story and no disaster will ever befall you because you write a novel.
Those of us who are writers can’t help but write. If we are not writing a novel, we are writing a blog or crafting status updates on Facebook or responding to discussions on forums or emailing and texting our friends and family. There are hundreds of ways of writing daily. And we manage to do all of them – except the writing that matters most. Because we are afraid.
Why aren’t we afraid to write a blog? Why is it that we set a goal to write a blog every week and we manage to get it done and published? Every single week. But when we say we are going to commit to writing a novel a year – a snail’s pace of merely 275 words a day – we can’t get it done? Why aren’t we afraid of writing a blog?
Because there is nothing dangerous or threatening about writing a blog. What’s the worst thing that could happen if you wrote a blog and put it out in the world? Someone might not like it? Someone might disagree with it? No one will read it? Maybe someone will write about the same idea and be better at it?
So what? Is that what you are thinking? So what if no one reads it? So what if someone disagrees or doesn’t like it? So what if someone writes better than I do? It doesn’t matter.
That same idea – that feeling – needs to translate into the writing of your “real” stuff. It’s the same. You are just another person putting stories out into the world and seeing what resonates. Some people won’t read it. Some people won’t like it. Some people will write it better than you.
You are already facing and managing this fear when you write a blog, or an email or a forum post or a witty Facebook status. You just have to bring that to your “real” writing.
How much could you write if you were not afraid? If you could sit down at the laptop with no beliefs of danger or threat or pain clouding your thoughts and you could just tell a story?
Do you know?
I didn’t. Not until this weekend. This weekend I set about writing a story for my teenaged children.
They still request an Easter Egg Hunt every year and we are long past hiding chocolate eggs behind the curtains. So each year, this mom devises an increasingly difficult hunt. This year, I decided to write a “choose your own adventure” for them. The idea being that they read a story and at certain points in the story they have to decide between option 1 or option 2 (and sometimes options 3 and 4). Seemed like a good idea. But it required a story. I started writing on Friday night. And I wrote more than 11,000 words by Sunday morning.
11,000 words. In a day and a half. Because I was not afraid.
Bio: Sheila Watson is a wife, a mom, a self-defense instructor, a 2nd degree black belt in Taekwon-do, a wanna-be chef, a dog companion and a writer of tall tales, fanciful stories, occasionally useful commentary and rather wordy status updates.
Stay tuned, she has a second part coming next week!
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