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Fear. It’s what’s for breakfast.

Hi Everyone!
I hope you are having a good week so far ;o) So, I’m having an issue – surprise right? Ha. What is it, Erica? Well, I’m going to tell you.


No not fear in the writing itself, but fear of writing. But, Erica, you’re afraid to write, that’s absurd.

It is. I agree. Here’s the thing. I don’t know what I’m afraid of… maybe I do. Here are my theories.

  • I’m actually afraid to complete a story because then I’ll have to entertain the idea of this being real
  • I’m afraid of finishing it because then I *may* be in a position to find an agent, publish etc. You know the normal paranoia ( by the way I had to spell that word like three times, then still had to look it up – pathetic.) LOL
  • I’m afraid it’s going to suck
  • I’m afraid I’ll find out this isn’t what I’m supposed to do
  • I’ll find out I’m a no talent hack
  • Yeah that about covers it. You know what the crazy thing is though? I love the story, I love writing it and I have no idea why I put it off sometimes, but I’m guessing it’s one of those reasons above.

    Now, I’m not going to ask you if you feel fear, I mean, come on… we all have those moments. I do know that. What I’d like to know, is how you deal with it. Do you put things off like ole Ms. procrastination over here? Or do you fight those thoughts off and plow through?

    So… I couldn’t have a post without mentioning the great news buzzing in the blogisphere! The awesome, sweet and talented Shannon Messenger over at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe has acquired an agent!! Not just any agent the fabulous Laura Rennert with Andrea Brown Lit. *Squeeeeeeee* If you haven’t already, go on over and congratulate her!!

    What fabulous news! *throws confetti*

    Well that’s my time!

    Have a great rest of the week – see you on Friday for the featured blog ;o)

    31 Responses to β€œFear. It’s what’s for breakfast.”

    1. Adam says:

      Every writer feels like this sometimes, Erica, and the smug ones that say they don’t are lying b******s. πŸ™‚

      The trick is to ignore it and keep going! So what if the first draft sucks? Or the second, or third?

      Y’all ain’t letting anyone see it until you’re happy with it. πŸ˜‰

      Give your permission to write whatever comes, even if you hate it. The editing sessions are there to make it purty. πŸ˜€


    2. Thanks for the encouragement Adam ;o) You’re a sweetie! Yeah, I always get this way with big tasks, but I’m going to plow through!! :o)

    3. Adam says:

      Good! πŸ˜€


    4. Matt says:

      Fer sure. What Adam said. Except I’ve never felt fear.

      But seriously, so what? Do you like it? You do. Then do it. What’s the worst that’s gonna happen? You’re not going to get a publishing deal? Or an agent? Guess what? You already don’t. So, nothing to gain there.

      On the other hand, you just may be the most fabulous thing to come out of literary since the chisel.

      So keep at it.

      And procrastination – I’ll tell about mine. But later.

    5. I procrastinate just like you. In fact, I’m doing it now. πŸ™‚ Congrats to Shannon.

    6. Matt – All true things you speak. Ha! Well, that’s yet to be determined isn’t it ;o) Will do – and LOL on the procrastination ;o)

      Susan – LOL – yeah I hear ya! We are in the same boat methinks ;o)

    7. Nice blog entry!

      I just started writing the third book in my three-book contract w/ Sourcebooks, and it’s the first time I’ve ever attempted to write a book that’s already sold. I never thought I’d say this, but it’s TERRIFYING. Much scarier than all those times I wrote books with no real certainty they’d end up anywhere besides tucked under my bed.

      At any rate, I wish I could assure everyone that the fear goes away after a book deal comes along, but sadly, that’s not the case!


    8. Jamie D. says:

      Read the first paragraph of my blog post today. That might make you feel marginally better – or at least not alone.

      It took me several tries to actually complete a novel, as you know. It’s taken me five more drafts to actually be ready to edit one. Give yourself time. πŸ™‚

      I try to ignore fear. Push it aside, shrug it off, tell it to go sit in the corner, facing the wall. Then just keep writing, and trust that it will all shake out in the end.

      Worst case scenario? You shelve that book, and write a new one. It’s never wasted effort, since you learn something every time. πŸ™‚

    9. Melissa says:

      I know that fear all too well. Sometimes it keeps me from even opening my word document. But I’m getting better about pushing it aside. Fear kept me from writing for many years, but I refuse to let that fear keep me from at least trying to become a published author. It’s a constant battle, but I’m determined to win. Hang in there…you’re not alone and we will conquer it!

    10. Iapetus999 says:

      A) It is real.
      B) That would be terrible.
      C) It does suck…but that’s what revision is for. Don’t be afraid to get (and listen to) feedback.
      D) It isn’t. You’re not “supposed” to do anything.
      E) You are a no talent hack. But so are most published writers. Take pride in that. You’re in elite company.

      There, I’ve removed all your fears. Now go finish your book!

    11. I fight my fear all the time. If you click on the writing link in my blog I am sure you will find many blogs about my fear of failure. My fear of finishing things.

      I am afraid to go back and count (you see more fear). It has been the single biggest hurdle to overcome.

      On the bright side I know this is what I want to do and I must battle through it at all costs.

    12. It is query letters that I fear most.

    13. I am so glad to hear about your fear!! That didn’t come out right. lol. I’m glad because I have this same issue, and was just pondering how to post about my SpringWrite failure, which I was going to explain away with all of the usual excuses when in reality it was just that…fear.

      For me, the cycle will continue, but I think that the more pressure you apply, the worse it is. It’s sort of self-fulfilling. You put it off, then you “prove” you’re correct in your fears by continuing to avoid writing.

      We can all write (taking a big leap of faith, here in regards to myself), so it’s really just a matter of giving ourselves permission to do it. I’m ok, you’re ok, as my dad says. So you didn’t write all week (again, assuming here), so what? They can’t take away your birthday. Really, what’s the punishment here? It’s important to keep ourselves motivated, but honestly, we also have to trust our own pace. So, not to use that as an excuse for not writing, I use that more as permission to get back on the horse rather than allow the lapse to turn into a chasm that requires major feats of engineering to span.

      And that’s all I have to say about that.

    14. Fear is omnipresent when you’re a writer. Every step is a challenge, nothing is ever the same twice – so it can be overwhelming.

      My advice? Take it one step at a time – and enjoy that step. Forget the future – don’t worry about editing, revising, querying, publishing, markets…. until you really, really need to. Enjoy what you’re doing at the moment you’re doing it – the rest will fall into place!

    15. Do not be afraid, you CAN do this. You don’t suck, you’re not a hack–you’re a writer. So open that document and go!

    16. I’m suffering from the same things right now. Everything you said describes my issues. I wrote a page today – the first writing I’d done in a week – and tossed it aside when I wasn’t sure I liked what was happening. All the above comments are helping me too. Good luck Erica – lets get past this together – one page at a time.

    17. Tawna – Thank you! I can imagine how scary that would be, someone’s depending on you! Well I’d say fear is universal huh? Good luck to you ;o)

      Jamie – I did read that. I’m so sorry you’re having difficulties too – sounds like it’s the theme this week! Good point about shelving it, however, I’m going to finish it first! Thanks ;o)

      Melissa – It is a constant battle! Yes, we will prevail! Thanks ;o)

      Andrew – Well there ya go! Off I go ;o)

      Christopher – Good luck to you – I too have to struggle with that – we’re not alone!

      Travis – Oh, yeah those are something to fear for sure!

    18. Heidi – LOL – I agree the more you put that pressure on yourself the worse it becomes. Let’s not do that then right? ;o) Sounds like some wise words from a wise gal ;o) Thank you!

      Jemi – Good advice. Thank you ;o)

      LiLa – Aw, thanks so much! You guys are so encouraging ;o)

      Mary – Aw, I’m glad you related to it, and sorry it’s happening to you too. Yes!! We will conquer this and write great novels ;o) Thank you! Hoo Ya!

    19. Girl, I am going through the same exact thing. Maybe we should hold a seance or a vigil or something to try and speak to our more confident inner writers. Or something.

    20. You knoq, I think fear is a healthy part of the process. Acknowledging it, as they say, is the first step to conquering it. But you must embrace it, too–let it motivate you, not drive you away. Know that you can do this.

      Ok, so I totally sounded like some Reading Rainbow host, but really, it’s all normal. I worry about writers that are uber confident. Something’s wrong in their heads maybe. I mean, we’re all kind of nutty, but you have to be a weird kind of nutty not to be afraid. It’s a tough business that exposes our greatest vulnerabilities. Hang in there. You’ll get through it.

    21. Fear is the one thing I think all writers can relate to. Plowing thru it is tough, but necessary to fight it off.

    22. Ms. J – Aw, man! There’s a lot of us. Okay I’m in, you bring the candles ;o)

      Carolina – LOL Reading Rainbow – dang that brings back memories. Ya know. I worry about those people too ;o) Thanks for the kind words.

      Jennifer – Amen! Thanks ;o)

    23. “Yeah that about covers it. You know what the crazy thing is though? I love the story, I love writing it and I have no idea why I put it off sometimes…”

      – That’s exactly how I feel, half the time! I’m not afraid, but sometimes I just DO NOT WANT TO DO IT. It’s hard to push myself. πŸ˜€

      And, yes, I’m usually a procrastinator.

      I’ll give some advice for the fear problem, although it’s going to sound meaner than I mean it. πŸ˜€

      Man up. Ignore it. Just keep plowing through. No matter what, you’ll reach the end as long as you don’t let one of these road blocks stand. Knock them over mercilessly. That’s how it works, as far as I can tell.

      Good luck! And happy writing!

    24. Madeleine – Yeah, man up. Great advice! That’s not mean at all ;o) I’m a tough chick, so I love when people give it to me straight. Here’s to gettin’ it done :o)

      Thank you!

    25. Ah yes. Fear. My fickle friend that shows up when I wish she wouldn’t. But I find that if I push her away, she just comes back.

      So I face her and then we can come to terms and she lets me write for a while.

      Good luck!

    26. Elana – Sounds like you’ve got a good idea there ;o) I think I may try that. Thank you ;o)

    27. I feel fear. Mainly I feel confident, but then feelings of incompetence creep up.

    28. Medeia – I have that problem too – just have too fight it huh? ;o)

    29. “Behold the turtle – he only makes progress when he sticks his neck out.”
      sorry, I don’t know who said that, but thought it appropriate.

    30. Georgina says:

      Oh, I definitely feel fear about writing. ALL.THE.TIME. What helps me get past that is reaching out to others, whether they are writers, or painters or actors. When I offer my support and encouragement to them it helps to take the focus off of me. By focusing on the good stuff that other people are doing, I can break the cycle of going around and around and around in my head. When I’m stuck, just visiting other blogs and leaving comments gets me out of the rut and I don’t feel so isolated. – G

    31. G – Those are fabulous suggestions – thak you! I agree it does make me feel better when I interact with other writers/artists. Just reading all the comments on this post has made me feel better ;o)

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