Overcoming My Fear Of Writing

You? A fear of writing? But you have two blogs!

Yes, yes I do, but it’s not easy. Of course, you will have noticed that I don’t always keep this one updated, and some weeks on my WoW blog I will write a post everyday, others perhaps only once a week, it varies, but yes, I suppose you could say that I have a fear of writing. Since I was very young, I wanted to write, yet I constantly worry that I’m not good enough. Constantly. Even right now I’m wanting to say “and I’m not, I’m God damn awful at writing”, but where, exactly, is that going to get me?

I decided to use NaNoWriMo to combat my fear of writing. I’ve just never been able to start and continue with a novel, I’ve never managed to complete a plot and get started, and that is a huge problem for somebody with a lifelong dream to write a novel and have it published. NaNoWriMo has given me the ability to just write, without worrying about how bad my plot might be, how much my writing style might suck, just get the words written and deal with the rest later. I believe that if I can complete my novel this month, then it will give me the confidence boost I need. It will show me that yes, I can write, here’s the proof.

The problem is, we’re onto day 5 now, and you can see my wordcount is not doing too badly, I’ve reached 11,000/50,000 in 4 days, which is brilliant. I may have days when I won’t write much, and so I need to have that little buffer. See, I haven’t really enjoyed writing. I still have it in my head that everything I am writing is absolute crap and that nothing will come of this, and I’ll never improve, and blah blah, other negative stuff. I’ve had to force myself to keep to the 1667 words a day, and I honestly owe a lot of this to friends.

I’ve been doing word sprints. My region set up an IRC channel and on Wednesday, I decided to pop in and say hello. Just as I did, they said that they would be starting a word sprint soon, I figured well, last time I tried one via the @nanowordsprints twitter channel it didn’t help at all but what the heck, I’ll be sociable, and it worked. I got down about as many words as most of the others who joined in. I started doing them with Naithin, and everytime I do these sprints, I get a little bit further ahead. Jotting down a thousand words in half an hour whereas usually it would take me close to two hours is absolutely brilliant. So, if you’re struggling to keep your word count up, find somebody to have a few wordwars with. Not only are they helpful, but they are fun.

While I’m still not sure about my own story, having these mini battles is keeping me going a bit and it’s starting to get fun.

7 thoughts on “Overcoming My Fear Of Writing”

  1. 11000 words ALREADY? Wow! *impressed*

    I’d love to do the NaNoWriMo, if only for the social connections with other writers that come of it (my local NaNoWriMo group meets at my favorite coffee shop), but November is usually a crazy month of getting papers done and prepping for finals. I worry that I’d put my semester in jeopardy if I threw myself into a big project like that.

    As for the “sounding like crap” side of writing, I think it happens to everyone as they’re writing. Stuff always looks terrible as you’re struggling for the right words. The important thing is to write anyway (besides, if its bad, no one has to see it). Just vomit words on the page. When you look over it the next day, you might actually like what you see. Or if you don’t, making necessary changes is much easier later on, when you’re not mainly concerned with composing.

    I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve actually *cried* while writing blog posts, because they sounded so awful, only to reread them the next day and feel satisfied.

    And if your fiction writing is anything like your blog writing, you really have nothing to worry about 😉

    Good luck with the rest of your NaNoWriMo!
    Ophelie recently posted…Updating the Blog Links And stuffMy Profile

    1. Thankya ^^
      You could do a NaNoWriMo style thing another month? Maybe we could start a mini one for people who find November a difficult month. I’m thinking of another novel already, could possibly join you, depending on when it is! Tis always an idea 🙂

      1. That could be fun!

        I’m sure not which month I wouldn’t be busy, but I’m thinking once I graduate (ie after May) and get settled in cushy 9-5 job, I’ll have all the time in the world to write.

  2. Basically regurgitating this comment from what I said to you in MSN, but nonetheless, I know full well what you mean about having that inner editor (or inner critic or, if you’re feeling less charitable, ‘that negative nancy douchebag who just never seems to shutup’) telling you that nothing you’re writing at the moment is going to amount to anything.

    In the past, my attempts have always fallen along the wayside because I repeated the same mistake: I Listened.

    Hell, it’s more or less impossible not to. It’s right there in your head after all. Talking to you. While you do stuff… Uh. This possibly has a larger crazy-quotient than I was really going for, but it’s true nonetheless.

    With NaNo this time around I spent a very significant number of hours procrastinating beginning. I found every excuse I could and then some to be doing anything but start putting down words. Primarily because even though I’d set nothing down yet, the inner editor was jumping the gun and editing everything I had in my head before I even got that far. There was no pleasing it, either.

    After lamenting about it to Krizzlybear and Shizukera on twitter, and recieving some stern advice to just go ahead and ignore the bastid, I was actually able to start. Even though I was ignoring him though, I could still hear it. (Yes, yes, ha ha, the voices are talking to me. I know you’re all out to get me too, so hush. I know where you live! Maybe!)

    Progress was made, but slowly and without much joy.

    It wasn’t until the following day that I started doing the whole Word War thing with you, and then later Apple that I was able to shut the inner critic up. The Word War format simply encourages you to type so rapidly that there is no time to be concerned about it til afterwards. And by then, it’s too late! It’s already written, so Ha!

    Since then I’ve also read a bunch of articles/essays from other writers, and in particular a certain Mr Brandon Sanderson (whom I purchased a book of tonight, actually, but haven’t had a chance to read yet (it was The Way of Kings)). He — and other authors — have mentioned time and again how important it is just to write.

    It may be that your first 5 or so books are irredeemably crap. But if you never give yourself the permission to write those crap books, there is no chance of learning and moving onto the 6th, which will likely still be crap in first draft form. Just, you know, not irredeemably so. 😛

    So my point? I promise I have one. My point is that you should acknowledge that you’re likely going to be crap now. Right? Because it’s true for 9/10 beginning writers. The key aspect to remember though is that this is alright. You’re allowed to be crap. Have fun with it. Learn as you go. Do better the next time. Write anyway. 🙂
    Naithin recently posted…Shadow of a DreamMy Profile

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