Saturday, September 15, 2012

Don't Let Fear Win

I’ve been trying, for days, to decide what to write about in my first blog on the GRRWG site.  I’ve rejected idea after idea as not witty or interesting enough and I’ve been stuck.  Then I finally decided, write about what’s causing the indecisiveness…write about the fear.

Writing is scary. 

Okay, maybe not the actual writing; I don’t usually fear sitting down in front of my computer, although sometimes there is some fear involved there, too.  Too much white space gives me hives.

The fear comes about when thinking of letting anyone read something I’ve written.  I have my own blog, I take comfort in the fact no one actually reads it.  I have pages and pages of stories started that no one has ever seen and no one ever will.  But, at some point, someone is going to have read something.  That’s just how the game works, you want to get published therefore someone has to read your written words.

It’s a strange contradiction.  I want to be a writer and I want to be published, but I’m scared to share what I’ve created.  The thought of anyone ripping apart the pages I have spent hours on is disheartening, to say the least.  But the scariest thought of all is having someone tell me I’m no good at writing, that I should abandon all hope and never write another word because no one wants to read them.  So I hoard my stories.

I finally got up the nerve to share something with a friend of my mine not too long ago, a friend who has designated herself my critique partner.  She insisted on reading it while sitting on my couch, with me right there.  Talk about nerve wracking!  She had good things to say, which I heard after the ringing in my ears subsided. 

So, that was the first step.  This blog is the second.  Next I might try entering a short story contest, but I don’t know if I have the guts yet to do that.  Slowly but surely I’ll work up the courage to let others read what I’ve written, so at one point I may actually have the nerve to send out some query letters, knowing full well where they might lead.

But I don’t think the fear will ever go away, I just have to decide…do I give in to it or do I rise above it?


Patricia Kiyono said...

Great post, Kirsti! I know exactly how you feel. It's like diving into a pool for the first time. You want to do it, but you're afraid of how you'll look. Trust me, the water's great!

Scott said...

Fear is an old, old friend of mine. I've met fear at every turn: going from elementary to middle school, middle to high, high to college, college to army -- did I mention asking for my first date? And every subsequent date? Proposing?

My favorite admonition in this regards comes from Stonewall Jackson. "Never take counsel of your fears."

If you do, fear becomes paralysis. If you ignore fear and shoulder it aside, it becomes a wimp.

Kelsey St. James said...

I have the same problem! When I finally decided that I was going to work on a novella to submit to be published I ran into huge writers block. I have worried so much about whether or not it's "good enough" that I've gotten in my own way. I'm working on it though. :)

Hang in there, we can do it!
(P.S. I'm a Jones too!)