Posted By admin on July 13, 2012
A friend and I were talking writing yesterday. She’s doing a talk soon about lessons she’s learned in writing, and she asked me if there was anything I’d suggest.
I have a few things. A couple of years ago I decided I wanted a change. It happens. Since then, I’ve learned anew about rejection and self-doubt. And fear. The fear I’ll never publish again–I never knew what I was doing–I’m a total fraud. Brutal voices in my head, huh? (I hope yours use a kinder tone.)
So, this is what I’ve learned.
- Fear is my companion. We don’t get along well, and sometimes, fear has me in a headlock. I must learn to dance with fear and insist on leading. (Exercise helps with that, and exercise also keeps a writer healthy. Oddly, sitting isn’t the most beneficial physical activity.)
- Give up if you can. (I covered that in a previous post.) I’ve heard it many times, and considered it, but it’s not an option. If it is, you probably don’t want writing badly enough to endure the wounds to your psyche.
- Write. Obvious lesson, there, but when fear leads my dance, I can find anything else to do that looks far more urgent. Clean the shower. Play Bejewelled Blitz (at which I am remarkable for my lack of skill). Stare into space. But the only way to write is–write. Do whatever you must to put words on the page. Lie to yourself about the amount of time you’re going to keep trying. Give yourself a quota. Give yourself a reward. Give yourself a stern talking-to, but write.
- And one more thing. This is more intangible, more personal, and harder to define, even as I’m doing it. I find something on each page that involves my emotions. Something that immerses me deeper in my own story, because if I’m involved, I might manage to involve readers, from editors to the person who hands over the bills at the cash register or clicks the buy button.