Fear Factor

I read a lot of tweets and posts about the fears we writers have — blank pages, writer’s block, inner critics (aka monsters), lack of ideas, rejection, etc.  I think about these things and I think I fall more into the fear of finishing group.  I fear finishing my novel because I not only have the usual fears noted above, but I’m really not sure what to do after I finish it.  Editing and all being obvious, what do I do afterwards? Do I get an agent? Do I submit to publishers?  Do I self-publish (and that option opens up a whole new set of questions)?  What do I do?

Then there’s that question that looms in my mind…what if I am such a bad writer that I will never publish and the book will be a total embarrassment?  You know, like those poor young people on American Idol who can’t carry a tune, but get up there and mortify themselves because their family has always told them they sounded terrific.   Oh heavens, yet another fear to handle.

Fear is a great paralyzer, the root of much procrastination, especially as a writer.  It’s a wonder any one gets the words on a page, much less published.  The big FEAR is always standing in our way.  We all have general fears in life, it’s human nature.  But as writers, there are so many fears directly related to our craft that breaking free of them can be an insurmountable task.

How do we trudge on?  For me, it takes a lot of pushing, a lot of will power.  I push myself to get up early, to open the computer, to actually write.  I will myself to forget all the “what ifs” for the time I’m on the computer writing.  I will myself to just write and not think about the monster in my head screaming at me that I am not good enough.

In the end, I hope to be published and, more importantly, read by many.  I don’t need a bestseller, but it would be nice. Then there’s the other “what if” that I fear. What if I can’t get published and/or no one reads my book, will I continue to write? I suppose I’ll find out soon enough; but the longer it takes to finish, the longer I can live in my dream world of being published someday.  And there’s the catch.

Happy writing!!

-AH

Thursday Thoughts

Sometimes I think I will never have another idea for another novel or story or poem once I finish this project.  I understand this is a common thought among new writers. But a lack of ideas is not possible for writers or any creative artist, unless you wallow in your doubts and fears.

Have you ever noticed that when you are writing your mind begins to explore and more ideas follow?  Creativity is like you body, it needs exercise.  Unfortunately, I can go for long periods of time without writing anything, so I really notice that when I do get back on track, the ideas just begin to flow, and I write more and more.  For me, the trick is creating time to write.  I get so caught up in other life stuff that I don’t get to it every day.  I need to stop allowing that and make a promise to myself to carve out writing time, no matter what.  I know writers who work on their projects late at night or early in the morning (I do that on occasion) and they are prolific writers.  Then I see tweets from other writers who worry about the same thing as I do — will they ever have another idea?

Well, I think the amount of ideas you have is directly related to the amount of writing you do.  These prolific writers never seem to run out of ideas.  Creativity need exercise.  Case in point — this blog post.  I started with a kernel of an idea about 8 minutes ago, thinking I would finish this by tomorrow (Friday)  and now I am up to 272 words. I wrote almost 1200 words yesterday in a couple of hours. So, exercise pays off.

Now I do have to keep up with household and life things, but the lessons of creating time to create are well-learned.  In addition to the creative muscle getting stronger and more prolific, those endorphins kick in too and create happiness within.  Just like physical exercise. Hmmm. Could be on to something here?

More writing equals more creativity.  Let creativity overflow!

-AH

Note: This post also appears on my other blog site: https://andreahunter313.wordpress.com

Friday Focus

I have been trying for the last hour to get to the point where I could write my blog post this morning before work! It seems whenever I want to get something done, a computer update or other distraction interferes.  This morning it was an update to Windows 8.1 and a cat that decided to lay on my lap with my laptop!  Now I have about 13 minutes to write this post.

For most struggling writers, I will venture a guess and say that we want to be writing full-time. That is the end game, at least for me. We feel stifled if we are not writing.  After spending too much time with other projects, I have decided that my new year’s resolution will be to learn to say no.  No to new projects.  No to anything that does not help further my goal to be a full-time writer.

I feel that I have made a big step toward that end when my article was published this year in KAUAI TRAVELER magazine (http://www.travelerdigital.com/kauai/fall2013_main?pg=49&search_term=Andrea#pg49).  I don’t want to be a “one-hit wonder” and leave that one article as my foray into published works.  I am spurred on to continue that path. So, these side projects that I do just prevent me from writing. NO MORE!  Sorry. But I have to focus on the writing and move forward.

Time to go. Day job is calling. Gee, I hope this update finishes before I have to leave!

Aloha Friday!!
-AH

Re-Blog: Monday Morning Tea

I keep meaning to write posts more often, but, somehow I always get side-tracked.  I think I must be great at procrastination!  Well, we all have to be great at something, don’t we?

Writing, though, is more important to me than any other endeavor.  I love the creative outlet.  I feel “clogged up” like a dammed up river, when I can’t get the flow of words out.  I won’t say that all I think about is writing, because there is so much more to think about on a daily basis, like what radio station to listen to in the car and how many Brussels sprouts I should add to my stir fry.  Overall, however, as far as any given activity in which I engage, writing is the most important.  And when I do sit down to write and focus on just that — no TV, no Twitter, no Facebook — I actually do write.

Sometimes I wonder what to write about.  I feel like I have nothing to say.  How can that be? I realize that I may not have anything I want to share at that moment, but I can still write.  There are scenes to write and string together for my novel — oh Jeez, will I EVER finish this novel??? There are thoughts about what is going on here at home. There are lists of topics for articles I might want to write.

The point is, I am sitting and writing while enjoying my Monday morning tea, before I get ready for the day job.  I am committed to turning my career back to writing for a living.  This is how I live and breathe — through words on a page (rather on a  computer screen).  I must be patient, but I must focus on writing as my ultimate goal.  The only way to do that is to continue to write and to create pieces that can be submitted for publication, no matter what the cost in emotional distress from rejections.  It’s worth it to me.

I suppose it’s like anything else. You have to get past the fear of actually doing something in order to do it.  Fear that I am not a good enough writer or fear of rejection has to be put aside. At this point, it is not as strong as my desire to make writing my career.

Well, the tea is almost gone and I have to go off to dress for work. Stay tuned for updates.  I think I am developing an idea for a new article already! (See, I sat down to write 30 minutes ago and have written an entire post of almost 450 words!)