Sunday, 18 May 2014

The Fear Of Writing

What is fear of writing? Fear of writing is that anxious feeling that you get in the pit of your stomach when you know that you need to start writing, you know that you need to focus and start to have your fingers move across your keyboard or pick up that pen, but something is holding you back.

You want to write- you enjoy the sensation of words flowing out of your fingertips and onto a blank page- but something is holding you back and you find yourself putting it off.

Image from Google
But why do we have this fear? Why is it that we have this uneasiness every now and then that stops us achieving what it is we want to do? Well, to be honest, there are various reasons.

Firstly, we can be scared to write because we believe that we are not good enough. We worry that the words that we are putting down are childish, unprofessional and for lack of a better word 'cringe-worthy'. We pass off our own writing as embarrassing and so when it comes to sitting down and getting back to it our lack of belief in our ability can make us reluctant.

Secondly, we can worry that the idea that we are working on is too far fetched or unbelievable to worry. We can agonise over our plot and whether it works or if we should be doing something differently- we begin to doubt ourselves.

Thirdly, we can feel intimidated by the story ahead of us. We can feel frustrated over the lack of progress that we seem to have made and all of the work that is ahead of us and we are unwilling to write some more only to find that we have yet to reach the end of a chapter.

Finally, we may be stuck on the story and so anxious over sitting down in front of it again only to once more fail to find the words that we need. The idea is still in knots in your head, the characters won't speak to you, the setting is dull and your stress is replacing the joy of writing.

So what is the solution to all of these? How do we work past this fear and sit down, roll our shoulders and get on with it?

Honestly? Faith. Pure and utter faith.

Every time we sit ourselves down and start to write we are taking a risk. We are having faith in our imaginations and in our ability to find the words- even if it may take us a while. We are having to trust that things will fall into place and that we will get to the end, while all the while knowing in our gut the feeling of dissatisfaction that we will get at the end of the day if we don't even try.

So yes, writing is scary- some days it can be nothing short of terrifying- but the only way of coping with the fear, of being able to cope with it, is to face it everyday.

Yes, you may be terrified that your words are terrible, yes you may be doubting the plot and feel intimidated and anxious over where we'll go next with our writing but you'll never know if you don't even try. As writers we are meant to create, we are meant to share our words with the world and if we let something as basic as fear stop us, we are allowing ourselves to not do what we were meant to do.

Fear, pfft, forget it. We're writers and when we've got a story that needs to be told we let nothing stand in our way.

What is it that gets you to fight past the fear and write? Let me know!