Scary Writing Fears

Happy Halloween! This week we take a look behind the curtain and reveal our scariest writing fears. Join us if you dare...

I'm on a plane again this week traveling to Idaho first and then down to Houston to join the Muses in a Storymasters Workshop with the always fabulous Lorin Oberweger. In the midst of all this traveling, I'm waiting on copyedits for SKINNY to arrive and contemplating book two (there should be some kind of "duh duh duh" scary sound effect for the mere mention of book two, but we will get to that later). Needless to say, it isn't hard for me to come up with scary writing fears. I'm full of them.

1. It won't happen. Not the book, the agent or the big deal. I'm talking at the word and sentence level here. Or even more on the idea level. What if it just won't come? That's probably the number one fear every single time I sit down before a blank screen. What if this time... and the next time... and the time after that... it just won't happen. And I'll NEVER write anything ever again. (Booktwobooktwobooktwo)

2. What if it sucks and I know it? I've had many a writing day that ends with the cursor moving backwards over my hard work, thankfully erasing it from human view forever. Sometimes it goes even further and I take the working pages to a critique group to read aloud. It goes over like a lead balloon. I can feel the interest drain away from listeners as I plow through the pages. It's awful. And I know it. (Booktwobooktwobooktwo)

3. What if it sucks and I don't know it? An even worse fear for me than the one above, is the idea I might write something and I don't have a clue it's horrible. What if I take it to a group to read aloud and don't hear the message it's awful? What if I send it out to a broader audience? To an editor or an agent? All the while oblivious to the reality. (Booktwobooktwobooktwo)

5. What if I can't do it again? SKINNY has received such an amazing welcome into the world. People connect with this story in ways that constantly surprise me. I'm thrilled they love it so much. Really I am. But now it's time to move on, and I want to write a second book that is just as well received and just as loved. It's the second book terror and I know I'm not the only one going through it. (Booktwobooktwobooktwo)

4. What if I lose my support? I am so fortunate to have amazing support for my writing life. The Muses are definitely part of that support system, but I also have other wonderfully wise writer friends, a group at work that is constantly cheering me on, and an incredibly supportive family. I also have the top agent in the country and an extremely talented editor. They all help me keep my perspective and are an honest sounding board for all my fears. I have no doubt I would not be writing today if that support system didn't exist, so the idea of losing it would definitely send me off the fear cliff.

There's a good thing about talking about fear. It doesn't seem nearly so scary once you've said it out loud. In looking back over my list, I can easily recognize the absurdity of some. Others I know are shared by many. The fears are probably here to stay, but I'm not alone. The truth is, we writers are a pretty paranoid lot. But it's going to be all okay. And to prove it, in the middle of writing this blog about all my fears, I received this link to this fabulous blog post from Saundra Mitchell and, guess what? I'm NORMAL!!

Check it out.


I actually did a post about this as well:

It expressed much of the same writing fear.

This is a great post. I used to tell my non-writer friends about these fears, but stopped when they all looked at me as though I was nuts. Now I go to a writers group, where I learned everyone is a little nuts when it comes to these kinds of fears.

Isn't it great to share the crazy??:)

Oh yeah, number 3 all the way, baby. Like, right now. Yesterday. Tomorrow. I hate that one.

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