Friday, April 17, 2009

What Is Your Fear

What is your secret writing fear? It's okay to tell, we all have at least one. Do you fear people will ridicule you if you say, "I'm a writer?" Are you afraid that when you sit down at the keyboard, you mind will go blank? Do you fear creating characters that have no dimension and no room for growth? Are you afraid you really don't have anything worthwhile to say? I'm always surprised by how many people are afraid to call themselves writers because they haven't written a novel. Is that your fear?

Most people are impressed if you tell them you're a writer. They'll probably say, "Oh, I wish I could write. I've got this great story to tell." Most times, their story isn't so great, but that's okay because you know you've already sold a story and have the check to prove it.

Everyone has a day when the blank screen laughs at them. Laugh back. Just start typing. Gibberish is fine. Even "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy hen" can be an exercise to get started. Anything works. Once your fingers start hitting the keyboard, your brain tends to kick in. It may be that what you write that day, you'll toss the next, but you're writing.

We all have created a character or two that didn't quite meet our standards. That's okay. Maybe he didn't need to be a main character. Possibly, that character should be shuffled into a less prominent position. Maybe he just isn't the person whose story needs to be told.

So you haven't written a novel. No big deal. There are poets, screenwriters, copywriters, magazine writers, journalists, short story writers. They are all writers. Yes, some have also written books, but they didn't need to write a book to be considered a writer.

Everyone has something to say. Are you a volunteer? Write about your experiences. Are you a parent or a pet owner? Write about what you've learned. Do you work in a specialized field? Explore trade magazines.

Once you face your fears, you can sit down and write.


  1. When my fearful little gremlins pop up, I remind myself that there really is nothing to fear but fear itself. Great blog.

  2. Lisette Brody had trouble leaving the following comment:

    I think that fear of failure AND fear of success are two very big fear factors.

    All best wishes,

  3. Thanks Lisette and Phoenix Rising for stopping by and commenting.