Feel the fear and write it anyway!

Fear and time are are greatest enemies as writers. Time can be managed, it can be mastered, manipulated to make room in our lives for writing time. Fear however is often our unassailable master, it is the little voice in our heads that tells us we can not write, and that what we do write is absolute manure pile fodder.

This is not true, first drafts are often full of errors, shaky dialogue and long winded plot commentary that goes no-where. That’s why we have the editing process, to allow us to polish off, improve and work on our technique. Like all skills the more we practise i.e the more we write, the better we become. Often it is the long break between writing and the first edit that allows you gain clarity on plot development, story arches, tension within the novel and character development. Don’t panic! Writing is meant to be a work in progress.

Writers often tie themselves in knots over plot development, narrative flow, character development and having too many or too few ideas of where and how to take the story next.  They spend so much time fretting over questions of whether a characters name should be hyphonated or if the characters speech is making thier intent clear that they forget to simply write words on the page. They get stuck in a holding pattern, unable to progress util thier burning quetion has been resolved and unwilling to allow the resolution to occur through progress. It’s a personal thing, but for me I find it better to keep writing and move onto the next scene or move onto the next chapter than waste precioous writing time. Plot knots have to be addressed eith er immediately or during the writers editing process, but if I’ve painted myself into a plot or character corner and can’t see a way round it, I move on and come back to it. Often while I’m writing, my brain is working on the problem unconsciously while I write and  by the time I come back to it a solution presents itself.

These of course are only two examples, but the same rule applies with any writing crisis underpinned with fear of what is right? am I good enough? does this work? will anyone even read this? It should be battered over the head and served with eggs for breakfast.

So feel the fear and write it anyway!

One of my fears is under editing and posting items with mistakes. So my brave act for today is to post this blog without editing it (I have corrected mistypes) and I’ll come back to it tomorrow, reposting it after a nights sleep. The difference between the first post and the first edit will show for itself. This is my third attempt at this post already, so keep at it, keep writing, and remember to not make fear your master.


About V C Willow

V C Willow has always loved to write and read for pleasure. During her teenage years she wrote a lot of poetry but graduated to writing Science Fiction, Fantasy, Epic Fiction, Urban Fantasy and Suspense as she reached her twenties. She is a geek and comic nerd. A very keen reader, an enthusiastic cook and gardener and loves to craft. She's even been known to get down and dirty and do some DIY. V.C live in Manchester, England with her ball of cat fluff, Willow. She is currently writing her début fantasy novel. You can follow her authors page on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/vcwillow Connect with her on Linked in at: uk.linkedin.com/pub/vc-willow/4b/b90/521 Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/inquisitivevic Follow her on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5563938-v-c-willow )O(
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6 Responses to Feel the fear and write it anyway!

  1. Gwen says:

    It’s true – and you make it sound easy. I’m my worst own worst enemy 😦

    • vcwillow says:

      It’s always easy in theory Gwen. It’s taken me years to be able to write without editing straight away and I still struggle with it now. I do find setting myself a time goal helps.I have a widget on my computer that’s a bomb countdown that explodes once the allotted time is up. Normally I set it for 30/45 or 60 minutes. I have to write as many words as possible in that period. That means I force myself not to edit as I write, and this creates a good writing habit. I still fail often and end up telling myself off for editing when I should be writing :-0

      Don’t beat yourself up I’m a writing magpie so procrastination and distraction are key weaknesses for me. It’s all a long process of gradual improvement (or so I’m told) 🙂

      Happy writing


  2. Rose Caraway says:

    This was a really neat post. Fear can have a terrible choke-hold on so many things we think about doing that we shout out “Tap!” and never even give it a try. Facing this fear is a tremendous step and being patient with ourselves during the creative process of writing a story, no matter the length, is another step. It can be such torture when finally going through the editing process that we let critique become personal attack against our creation and we choose to let it die.

    I enjoyed this post primarily because I understand what it means to grow as a writer, I understand what it means to allow my work to be edited not only by myself but others. It is akin to allowing yourself to be viewed naked.

    This is what promotes growth in the writing skill. What looks simple enough on the outside can easily become too overwhelming when we finally dive into a project, and fear is usually the devious culprit that makes us quit altogether. But once we face it, wow, writing becomes more enjoyable because confidence has now been allowed to grow. Facing our fear is half the battle.

    Thank you for this post!
    Rose Caraway

  3. V.C., I wrote a response to this post on my own site. My site doesn’t do automatic trackbacks, so I have to handle things manually. 🙂


  4. elegsabiff says:

    Anyone else keep paper and pen next to the bed because of those wonderful moments of clarity at 2 a.m. when you suddenly realize what the solution is? Anyone else have trouble reading the notes in the morning?

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