Fear: The Rooted Trick Of Doubt

All the talent in the world will not insulate you from moments of doubt. The best well written outline will not save you from doubt. All the writing challenges, writing sprints and applications for NaNoWriMo will not save you from doubt.

But here is something that you need to not just understand, but to know: a doubt unchecked becomes a rooted fear.

A doubt–unchecked–becomes a rooted fear.

As a creative person, especially a writer, you will encounter these moments where the words won’t come, or they cannot come. These types of doubts are normal. However, when the doubts which are not worked through become fears.

A fear in something irrational, or unproven in some cases.

In the years by which I have been at this craft, learning and trying to do it better, the main three fears which occur in the life of writers are can be summed up here:

1.) Fear of Launching.

2.) Fear of Criticism.

3.) Fear of Vision.

Let me explain a little further.

This writing will always require faith in yourself–above anything else.

The Fear of Launching will run the space out of a computer, jump drive or notebook. It will keep you second guessing, nervous and believing it is good enough to just write! This fear will keep you as a hamster on a wheel.

How you defeat this: Write and begin to share you work. Find a writing group. Find a free platform. If you are a minority writer, these writer groups are essential. Writing in community helps.

The Fear of Criticism will send keep you thinking that you work will have no audience. That you will not be successful. This fear will paralyze your talent: it will stop you from writing or sharing your work! This fear will be apparent especially in the beginning–and must be handled afresh with every project.

How you defeat this: Write. Write scared. Write everything that you think you want to read! Remember these two quotes.

“If there is a book you want to read, you must write it.” -Toni Morrison

“A real writer can write anything.” -Christopher Priest

Write because you know you can.

The Fear of Vision will keep you from branching out into the world. It will keep you stifled and stymied into a genre either you want to change, or expand. As a writer, you must become comfortable in seeing what other people cannot see. Don’t be afraid of what you see, or want to see! That is the nature of this craft–we create what we see, that other people can’t see, in order to make the world is little bigger or smaller.

How to confront this: Write what you want to write, and not what other people tell you to write. Find the genre that makes you happy, that speaks to you, and write what you want. Write the things you want to see.

*Tune into The Writers’ Block Podcast during the month of October to find out more tips and tricks on making doubt work for you.

Encouragement Pages: 10/04/2019

Fear of writing is this.

Forsaking Energy Against Risks.

Remember this as you write today. Writing is a risk. It will always be a risk! When you take something from your head, and push it thought the kinetic fury of your hands, that is a risk.

Plotting and planning cannot compensate for everything. Although, that is a good strategy. But, as trust the wisdom of Nora Roberts:

“You cannot edit a blank page.”

Don’t let the fear win, beloveds.

Write. And keep writing.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages: 10/02/2019

What would you write if you were never afraid?

What you would write if you believed you could?

What would it be like to write without fear?

Today…use that fear—and write anyway.

Today, I want you to channel the apprehension, the doubt, the fear of failure and create. After all, writing is alchemy! You are changing something that is not into something that is.

Fear is the roadblock to creativity. But if you harness it? You can grab stars.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

The Fear Of The Red Pen: The Fear Of Submitting (Part I)

 

Image result for red marks on essays

I am of a certain age to remember when all grades were scrawled on notebook paper in fire red ink. I remember turning in papers, essays or other miscellaneous homework with the hope that the spillage of ink on those sacrificed papers would be at a minimum. It would be with deep offense when I would see something that I worked so hard on be bled all over.

If you’re honest, this may be one of the reasons why you shy away from (if not outright avoid) submitting work. To blogs. To websites. Even to starting a blog. It is that fear that someone may not like something that you worked on, poured into may not be suitable to their palette.

I am here to remind you to two things:  criticism and critique are invaluable. Here is why:

 

Criticism. Completely suggestive. Helps to build the vital thing you will need as writer:  THICK SKIN.  There are few rules in writing, and I speak of them often. They relate to spelling, grammar and those related mechanics. These are the unavoidables. These are the things you have to master in order to write or speak any language. They are unavoidable. It is the content where the thick of your problem comes. There are those whom will love, hate–or worse yet–not ‘get’ what you’ve written. Any criticism is good–people are reading your stuff! However, in the threads of this criticism, you cannot allow the negative (even hateful) portions of the criticism to take root in your heart. Not every criticism is meant to break you. Some are meant to improve upon what is already there. Constructive criticism builds! It wants you to be better! Malicious criticism tells you want you cannot do, and may never be equipped to do.

 

Critique. These are similar to criticism, but focus on what is written. Not everything is for everyone. The faith of your talent cannot rest in what other people think of it. As a woman, a writer, and a writer whom is a woman of color, I have faced this more than once–before my skin got thick. I had to remember that what I write isn’t for everyone–and that too has to be okay. It must be okay!

Feedback for writers is and will remain a touchy subject! Stephen King almost didn’t publish Carrie! Anne Rice couldn’t find a market for Interview With A Vampire right off. Langston Hughes contended with his aunt about his writing career. Laurel K. Hamilton when she began writing the Anita Blake series was criticized for her work–about how out the box it is and was.

The point being that writing is what you make it. It is art and craft. It will always be of some contention. Someone somewhere will have something to say about it, not like it, not know how to classify it. They may even hate  your manuscript as what happened to JK Rowling. This cannot stop you. The red ink cannot become a grave or a paralytic!

For the people that don’t dig your stuff, there will be someone that will. That wishes they had something newer, fresher to read. Sometimes writers have to be their own advocates. You have to toughen up, sharpen your skills and above all write.

Write. And by God, keep writing!

 

[image from Google]