Saturday, 21 April 2012

Facing Your Writing Fears


A while ago, I told myself that I would do more things which scared me. Not because I’m a masochist, but because sometimes we need to do things which scare ourselves to progress and to face our fears. I had a nice little reminder of that today, and I think facing your fears can also be said for writing. 

In writing, and especially in publishing, there’s a lot of fear to combat. Let’s face it – the publishing industry requires a lot of rejection on our part. Sending queries, getting an agent, going on submission . . . there is a lot of waiting, and a lot of rejection. But you do it anyway: eventually, there will be an end to the tunnel. Hopefully that tunnel ends with you getting published. Natalie Whipple is a great example of a writer who has had to overcome a lot of rejection and fear simply to pursue her dream of being a published author. 

But writing isn’t all about publishing. Many people don’t write with the aim of publishing, but just for the pure joy of writing. There’s nothing wrong with that. The more you write, the more skills you’ll acquire, the more practiced you’ll be and the more stories you’ll be able to tell. But you still have to face those fears. I know I’ve faced a lot of writing fears over the years. 

So, face them! Write in a different characters’ perspective. Sit down and edit that novel. Send your writing off to be critiqued. Go to writing conventions and network. 

There are too many different opportunities which can be missed by refusing to face your fears. Ultimately, facing those demons can get you to where you want to be. There is an end to the tunnel. You only have to push yourself far enough to see it. 

What are some of your writing fears?

4 comments:

  1. I have way too many writing fears but plow ahead regardless. Most of them center around putting my actual writing out there...to a beta reader, CP, agent, online contest, my blog, even for my husband to read. But I want to be published, so I'll continue to fear and plow...

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    1. I definitely agree, the first time I sent off my novel to be critiqued I was so nervous! Writing is such a personal thing, and setting it free into the world is a big fear. But like you said, all we can do is continue to fight it and plow on ahead!

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  2. I don't have writing fears because I'm able to separate myself from my writing. I don't view it as a personal failure when my queries get rejected. It's very competitive to get an agent and to get published. So many good writers with good stories are submitting, so don't take rejections personally. Just keep sending to agents and small book publishers. Something good will happen. I understand that you write a collection of short stories. Most agents will not take it. But there is an article in latest Writer's Digest p. 16 about literray agent, Emily Forland, who represents short story collection. I added a new American Chinese author in my last blog and you might wish to read her book. LEGEND by Marie Liu set in a dystopian world. I like the summary of her novel and the first pages.

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    1. That's good that you don't need to face any writing fears; it's a healthy attitude to publishing I would say. Don't worry, I'm not looking to publish my collection, it's far too unedited for anything like that! That sounds really interesting, I'll go check that out. Thanks, Giora.

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