28 November 2015

Pinpointing the reasons for a stop

*The lecturer walks to the front of the classroom, arms overloaded with books, calendars, pictures, etc. He drops them all on the table. Then pulls a CD from among the detritus and slips it into a player*

Welcome back to the author tutorial. Today we have a guest speaker.

I should be writing: Crippling Fear

Why did I bring this up?

For one, because Mur is an awesome writer, awesome podcaster, and just a good resource for writers.

For another, because I understand what she's speaking about. My blog stopped, froze as it were, because of fear. That people weren't reading. My writing slowed, because I was afraid. My social life stopped, because I was afraid.

Fear is that universal link of many many humans. Anyone who says they don't have any fears are either short a few hormones, are sociopathic, or are lying. I tend to lean to the last reason. Some people better control their fears. Others show their fear on their entire beings. Yup, that's me.

What we need to remember is that fear is only good if it's going to guide us away from harm. So an axe murderer is good to fear. Writing a short story, regardless of anything else, shouldn't be feared. Fearing that oncoming truck, good thought. A blank page when you have hundreds of ideas? Not worth the cowering.

This writing journey is not about anyone but you. YOU must establish what is worth it. YOU must determine what is success. Even if that is just putting the words on the page to get them out of your head.

Fear is just like the inner editor, the voice of Murphy, and the harsh writing critic of our heads. Tie them up, lock them in a truck, and toss them in a deep dark well in your mind. If you do each in their own hole, then you can find a way to jettison Murphy and the writing critic. (The editor unfortunately comes in handy when revising.)

Journeys are about taking a step, then the next and the next. Do that now.

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