Monday, May 24, 2010

Be Fearless

It's been so long since I've blogged about writing I almost don't know what to write about. But never fear.

Fear.

Fear is deadly. Fear can stop you mid-keystroke. Fear can turn scenes meant to be emotional, suspenseful, erotic, or whatever into skim-worthy-then-close-the-book prose.

Fear is the underlying reason some writers don't dig deep enough. Fear of what they'll find when they dig into themselves.

Fear is why some writers pull their words like a fighter pulling his punch. These writers don't want readers to know their innermost thoughts, or even thoughts from a character.

Fear is the reason some writers give up after years of work. Fear they're getting close to success - close to finally selling a manuscript - and not wanting to accept the realities that brings.

Don't let fear knock you down.

Look it in the eye. Tell it to go find someone else to pick on.

You're not going to take it anymore.

23 comments:

Terry Odell said...

I'd rather face the fear than face cleaning toilets any day. Write!

Mason Canyon said...

Do one better, put fear to work in your writing. Use the fear as an action for your characters.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Carol Kilgore said...

Terry - You and me both!

Mason - Excellent idea.

KarenG said...

Great post! Fear is the enemy of creativity. Fear keeps us from not writing for sure. I feel very inspired by your post today! You know what my fear is? That when I get into my wip that everything else will fall aside and I will seclude myself for 2 solid weeks to the exclusion of everything else. What a silly fear, but yes that's mine.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The only thing greater than our fears is living with them!

Marisa Birns said...

Fear. Yep. That's the gift that the internal editor always brings when it visits first thing in the morning.

And - no lie - cleaning the bathroom is something I have to do right now because people will be afraid to go in there if I don't!

P.S. The word verification code is 'apardon'.

So I will take the pardon offered and walk away from fear jail! :)

Conda V. Douglas said...

Right on and write on!

Talli Roland said...

Great post Carol! So true - fear can be deadly! My strategy is to just not think about it!

Joanne said...

Oh so true. We have to look fear in the eye, and triple-dog-dare it to stop us. It's an empowering thought, backing fear down like that.

Elspeth Antonelli said...

This is exactly what I'm telling myself these days. Stop being afraid and just do it. Thanks, Carol!

Carol Kilgore said...

Karen - There are times I would LOVE to seclude myself to do nothing but write for two weeks. What's to fear?

Alex - True.

Marissa - Good for you!

Conda - Thanks.

Talli - Just don't let it catch up with you.

Joanne - Yes!

Elspeth - You're welcome.

cassandrajade said...

Fear is the worst. I hate when people read over my shoulder while I type because I freeze. I start thinking about every single word and toning down dialogue and description. I really just can't write. It is insane when I know that as soon as I finish a draft and have read it once, I'm going to pass it to at least three people to read and get feedback on it - but while it is in the creation phase, I just can't share.

Excellent post.

Maryann Miller said...

Thanks for the inspiration. It is amazing how we let fear control us sometimes. Needed to read this today.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

So true and excellent advice. I think fear is another name for writer's block.

Helen Ginger said...

A wonderful post, Carol. I think just about all authors have fear. We don't always recognize it as such.

Helen
Straight From Hel

kimberlyloomis said...

Very accurate, Carol. Although, I really could have been quite happy without "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "Cult of Personality" being stuck in my head. ;)

notesfromnadir said...

You're right about fear.
Remember that the opposite of fear is faith. It's such a beautiful word! :)

Sheila Deeth said...

Once I start writing it goes away. Once I stop it comes back.

Carol Kilgore said...

Maryanne - Fear is powerful. It can suck the life out of anything.

Jane - I think so, too.

Helen - I fear a lot of things. But I work hard not to let it control me.

Kimberly - "We're Not Gonna Take It" ... you've been inside my head :)

notesfromnadir - So very true.

Sheila - Don't stop!

Kathy McIntosh said...

So absolutely true.
I have to put fear in a little box on my desk or I don't write, but the comments about using it and not holding back on the page tell me I have to embrace it, wrestle with it, use it to make the words come out true. Great post.

Carol Kilgore said...

Cassandra - Somehow I missed your comment above until just now. It's hard for me to share during the creation process, too.

Kathy - Do what you have to do with it. As long as it doesn't control you, whatever you do works.

Glynis said...

Excellent post, Carol. More often than not, I have to face this to get anything done on my writing. I've learned to go ahead and take that extra step that is so frightening.

Carol Kilgore said...

Good for you, Glynis!