Dealing With Writerly Fear
Admittedly, this is a bit of a darker post. Writerly fear is complex, and can take on different forms. There can be fear of the blank page, fear of rejection, fear of people not liking what you've written, fear of your work being stolen or plagiarized...the list goes on and on. It can be enough to halt you in your tracks. I'll be honest, my writerly fear didn't go away just because I have published books, it's still very much there and pecks away at me sometimes. It's scary to put your words out there, writing is a direct window into your mind. It's a reflection of your innermost thoughts, beliefs, ideas...for me it's hard not to feel that if someone says "I don't like your writing" they are essentially saying "I don't like you." That feeling can be pretty crippling.
My perspective on it has changed, though. Writerly fear is much like our fear response to dangerous situations, we have fear for a reason: it's our automatic response to preserve our lives. Writerly fear, while not there to protect your life, protects you from the crushing feeling of someone squashing your words. You can't be crushed if you don't put your words out there, right? It can't be stolen if it never releases. It can't be bad writing, if you don't put the letters on the page. On a positive note, writerly fear can be useful. It's part of why I edit and edit, and then have others edit; writing is an art form, one that takes years of work and practice, learning to use that fear to question what I've written, again and again...in order to make it better.
In the words of author Jodi Picoult, "You can always edit a bad page, but you can't edit a blank page." This is a quote in my writerly life that I live by. I can edit my words. So throw your ideas on the screen (or notebook), get it out and started. Get the essence of the idea, and then refine the way you've presented it. Work on the prose. Take classes. The fear can be good, it can push you to be better. For me, at the end of the day the fear of doing all this work to have it hide in obscurity outweighed the writerly fear I have. What can help you push through? What can you hold to that can outweigh your writerly fear? Having a goal that is stronger than the fear is one way I've found to deal with it. Drop a comment below and share your tips and tricks for dealing with writerly fear.
With three young kids, the demand for play-do is high! I personally get sick of buying those plastic tubs that just dry out quickly and create plastic waste, so we like to make our own. It keeps the kids entertained for hours. It's easy to make: 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, 1 cup of water, 1 tbsp vegetable oil, and 2 tsp cream of tartar (or substitute cornstarch). Mix all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook and stir until thick. Done! You can add gel food coloring before cooking, or after if you want to have different colors. Easy! Store in an airtight container.
My mechanical keyboard has been clacking away, I am now at 70K words on my first draft of Vale Born Book 3! I am wrapping it up with a nice bow (no cliffhanger I swear! Though definitely some breadcrumbs for the future). With a projected 2 chapters left to finish, I'm nearly there! I'm really loving the adventure of this book, the further development of the characters, as well as some new players! The romance is definitely explored more, the expanding world with new locations...it's all coming together with a breathtaking plot. I'm excited/relieved/exhausted and am so ready to be able to mentally shelve this for a bit and let it simmer, so that I can dive into my next writing project which is begging to get started!
ON MY SHELF
Well, I should specify, will be on my shelf on June 1st! Skull Valley is just about to release, and I can't wait to read it! I was honored to be a beta reader for it, and am excited to read the updated version. Check out this action packed, non-stop YA dystopian thrill ride. Here's a nice blurb to excite you!
When all communications with the outside world are cut off, the town of Skull Valley begins to self-destruct. No one is better equipped to save the isolated community than seventeen-year-old Lukas Taylor. Prepared for any disaster by his late father, he has the skills and the supplies. Now he just needs to figure out who he can trust, before it's too late.
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