Sunday, October 24, 2010

Facing Your Fears (Part 3)

Ugh. I've avoided writing this post for a long time because I was afraid of it. Yup, you read that right. I've been afraid of writing a post about facing your fears. Go figure.

I suppose what's made it so difficult is that at the end of the day, I don't have the answers, only the questions. Scoff if you like, but at least you know the truth: I've been writing for years and there are still plenty of things I don't have figured out yet. I'm like many of you---just stumbling around and trying to find my way. And how do you give advice about something you can't do yourself?

That, in essence, is the whole reason I started this series in the first place. As with my writing, I blog from my life, the good, the bad and the ugly. For better or worse, I put my struggles out in the open because I never want to give the impression that this stuff is effortless. That doesn't help anyone. Writing about the challenges forces me to work through them, along with reading advice from my wonderful followers :-) I love getting different perspectives on the issues we all face in our craft.

So, how do you face your writing fears? What do you do when that huge, horrific monster rears its ugly head and gnashes its razor-sharp teeth? At this point, the only answer I've come up with is that you suck it up and make yourself write anyway. Scared you're out of ideas? Start writing about the room you're in and what could happen there. Seriously. Scared you'll never get published? Give yourself a deadline to finish a story and then start querying, no matter how crappy it is. Scared you'll get published and your novel will flop? Write another book that's better than the first one so more people will want to read it.

I know you were looking for something fabulous and profound, something that would totally blow your minds, but right now that's all I've got. Other writers have said the same thing far more eloquently, but this is my version of it. The longer I write, the more I realize there are no easy answers to being successful at it. You just have to do it, and do it, and do it, and do it some more. Then one day, some glorious shiny day that's as bright as a new copper penny, it pays off. And man, is that payoff ever sweet when it comes.

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