The fear lurks within all who put pen to page or fingers to keyboard. Should I do this? Should I actually sit down and write a story? What do I have to say that others would want to read? Our need to write is deep-seated, something we can’t deny. It’s a craving like you have for a cigarette or a drink of alcohol. Denying ourselves the opportunity to write leaves us with a deep ache within. Yes, we sometimes struggle to write, but we manage to get words down. A sentence here, a short paragraph there. Each word leading to the next, until the start of a story emerges onto the page or screen.
This fear is normal, but if you start to dwell on it, obsess over it, you may find yourself in a bit of a jam. You begin to find excuses to not sit down and write. I need to walk the dog, weed the garden, and fold the laundry. There’s a TV show I want to watch. The excuses start to build up and you no longer write. However, the urge to write doesn’t go away. What to do, what to do.
Let me tell you something, if you truly love to write, but feel the fear start to grow, you need to understand one thing: Do not compare yourself to what is already published. The only one you should compare your writing to is your own. The more you write and learn to edit what you write, you increase your skill, and the words will continue to flow onto the paper or screen.
If you think you need to be the next Stephen King or JK Rowling, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment, like many other writers out there. Set reasonable goals for yourself to help keep the fear at bay. Write short stories in the beginning, then move on to longer pieces.
The fear will always lurk below the surface, each time you sit down to write. You can’t avoid it. However, you can acknowledge it, and work it into your writing. Let the fear know you are aware of it, but it has no control over you and the words you write. The pen is in your hand or your fingers rest on the keyboard. You have the power over the fear and the control over your writing. May the words ever flow!