WHY FEELINGS ARE YOUR ENEMY WHEN YOU WRITE.
I’m in the middle of reading the wonderful Kristen Lamb’s ‘Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer’ – I also follow her blog. In the first chapter she talks about how our feeeeeeelings can sabotage our writing habit, and she is absolutely right.
We’ve all done it, had that extra glass of wine that’s tipped us over the edge and meant we can’t write. Followed by the feeeeeling of guilt we haven’t reached our 3,000 word goal of the day (we wish.) Followed by the feeeeeeling we’re useless, write crap and will never get there.
Followed by the feeeeeling to give up.
Followed by the … get the picture?
Or, we’ve had a domestic with our other half, or our boss is a pain in the ***, or our friends don’t understand that the muse is a fickle beast. Of course, all of these events affect our feeeeeelings and those, in turn, affect our writing.
Kristen says ‘feelings can be the enemy and steal your dreams’ I love that statement.
What to do?
Set goals. I should say, set achievable writing goals. Every single day.
My list of writing goals for today are:
Revise competition entry
Read last scene of wip
Write next two scenes of wip
It might not look a lot, but I’ve learned the hard way to have no more than four things on my list. I don’t know how long it’s going to take to revise that competition entry because of the copious notes I’ve made and I’m not sure if what is in my head will work.
Reading yesterday’s work isn’t straightforward either. We’ve all done the fiddling and
faffing about, even though WE KNOW not to go back until we’ve finished the
Then the planned scenes might not gel, or the characters might – hopefully – grip us by the throat and we end up writing reams of stuff. Isn’t is great when that happens?
And sometimes, out of the blue, a new idea springs to mind. If that happens, we stop what
we’re doing and make a note in our ‘ideas’ book, don’t we?
However, that all sounds wonderful and organised, disciplined and writer savvy, right?
Well, yeah, but it never ever turns out like that. Why? Well, because we’re not perfect people.
We are writers which means for most of the time we inhabit a place that is not real in our psyche. Our characters talk to us ALL the time, they make demands and insist on
telling the story in their own way and doing stuff that can cause no end of headaches. The outline we sweated over for four long days our characters totally ignore and that is a scary feeling (ah,ah, see? Fear has just popped in to
say hello, how ya doin, so you think you can write?)
In my opinion, fear is a writers greatest enemy and it takes many forms.
Fear of failure
Fear of making mistakes
Fear of other writer’s opinions
Fear of being mediocre
Fear of being laughed at
Fear of success
Hmm, one of my critique partners accused me of the last one when I edited my voice and joy out of a piece. And she was right.
Fear steals our joy of creativity, it throttles it and kills it, if we let it.
What to do?
Seriously, because when we get that sliver, that tickle in our gut then it might mean we’re on to something big.
Our intuition knows that we are on the right track. We’re doing something wonderful,
something that could even be the next step to SUCCESS.
What holds you back? Do you have an inner gremlin chuntering in your ear? How do you get
rid of it?
Links: Kristen Lamb’s blog http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/
And “Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer.” https://whodareswinspublishing.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=59