When I was in elementary school, my teachers from third to fifth grade, when it was time to take a test, would say:
“Eyes on your own paper.”
This piece of advice can be translated to writers. Your work, is your work. It is powered by your own imagination, your own talent and merit. Don’t short change what you are creating because you may be unsure about its outcome!
As a writer, if you gave in to every distraction and hinderance, you would never write.
If you surrendered to every doubt, you would never write.
If you listened every doubt, you would never write.
The doubt comes to check your motivation–Who are you writing for?
Distractions come to check your focus–What are your writing? Do you have everything you need to begin?
Stephen King, the Master of Horror himself, says that the scariest time is right before you begin. I would have to agree. The scariest part will always be right before you begin! Even with outlines, support and research, or strong coffee, fear still creeps in.
It creeps in because it’s supposed to! Writing is always a little frightening. It will be disconcerting. It will scare the shit out of your sometimes–and that fear can be come a paralytic.
A writer with paralysis is like a swimmer doing the breaststroke with weights!
In order to free yourself from that paralysis–you have to write. Even though you’re scared. Even though you may have doubts. Even though you may be unsure.
I want you to remember that every thought won’t blossom into a WIP or a novel. But–it is the ideas you don’t chase, that you think aren’t worth the chase–which could!
I want you to be okay with the stop and start this month. September is Back to Writing Month, and I want you to get at it. I don’t care if it’s a paragraph, a story start on your voice recorder, or an idea you just kick around on social media.
I know that admitting that you are a writer is a little crazy-feeling. The same feeling you get when you unlock a door. I know that you don’t totally understand. I know that you may not even know where to begin! But, I want you to embrace that.
It’s not a curse.
It’s not a deficit.
You are a writer. You have ideas, and people, and worlds within you. It’s time for you to let them out.
Websites are amazing! One of the coolest things about having a pen name, or any type of on-line presence, is that you can build that presence to your liking! You can allow your alter ego/literary persona ‘space’ if you will, to be independent of you.
That seems kind of Frankenstein-Mary Shelley, but there is a peace for this. Especially, if there is a day job that you don’t want conflicting with this. Moreover, if you are writing about something that you don’t want family, friends or neighbors to know about. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to separate those lives. It seems crazy, but is necessary in some cases! And in some circumstances, kink-shaming is still real. Certain sexual situations or real-life retelling, are too much for people!
Having a specific place, a virtual house of sorts, to put everything allows there to be one less thing to worry about. The time and energy used to stress out about being seen, can be used to create. You are a writer, an artist, and you need that energy to put towards other things!
What I want you to know my dear writers, storytellers, oracles and dreamers, is that you should never feel bad for this. You should never feel bad, or be guilted for making space that you believe that you need. This is one of the reasons why free domains exist. Make your space. Create your worlds. Let the people in your head out. Stretch out in your talent, and enjoy the ride.
Besides, you are the captain of this ship. You have the power to create and destroy as you see fit. In choosing to have such a level of artistic autonomy, you invite your potential audience to like two genres without ever asking them to do so. You invite your readers and audiences to enjoy, to devour and keep coming back for anything that they like of your work. Even if it is in two forms. When the time is right, you can integrate those creative selves–and even then that is if you want to!
Have fun with it! Lead them towards Red rooms or Yellow Brick Roads…it’s all up to you.