Fear of Writing (and how to get it)
I have nothing to say.
I don’t know enough about theme.
Or plot. Or subtext.
People will laugh at it.
It’s not as good as those finished books I read and loved as a kid.
I don’t know how to write.
My spelling sucks.
I didn’t go to college, or I didn’t go to college for the right subjects.
I make mistakes in every other tweet I send.
I’d rather spend time online.
I’d rather watch TV.
I’m not a sophisticated thinker like Stephen King or that Fifty Shades writer.
They sell millions of copies, I can’t do that.
I’ve never been paid for my writing.
I’ve only gotten a few bucks for my writing.
I haven’t lived an adventure-packed life.
There’s nothing to write about.
I can’t think of anything to write about.
You’re afraid of something.
If you don’t know what it is you’re afraid of, that’s okay.
It might even be a good thing. Many writers have written out their fear in a story.
If you only know you fear something, have a character embody that fear. An evil alien, a scary boss, the old fart who chased kids out of his market. Pick one specific characteristic that feels right. There, you have a villain. Now have your hero confront him and see what happens. The alien who runs the corner market, or something.
Secret: Fear is part of the work.
It IS work. You’re not doing this for fun. If you are, there’s not much I can say about that.
You’re afraid what you write won’t be good enough.
You’re right. It won’t be. The vast majority of people alive today will never see it, and many who do won’t like it.
There’s no ‘but’ here, that’s the whole story.
Set your timer to 20 minutes. Start writing. Don’t stop until the timer goes off.
Now you’ve got something to work with while you ignore the fear that’s never going to go away.