In Writer’s Block? Writing Anxiety? Which? Part I, I pointed out that most writers are more comfortable talking about writer’s block (which they can blame on any outside force or circumstance), than to talk about their writing anxiety (i.e. plain old fear), which is an inner problem.
Writers are often told that in order to solve their writer’s block, they need only improve their technique, but that leads to yet another problem.
The problem is that while a good novel-writing course will do an awesome job of teaching technique, it fails to address the crippling inhibitions that keep even the most gifted of writers from getting the writing done. The strongest piece of advice they can give for dealing with so-called writer’s block usually goes something like this:
- Roll up your sleeves and get busy.
- Create a goals list – so many words a day (or pages or whatever)
- Set up a calendar with time allotments for work on the novel and follow the schedule
- Just do it!
I call this the white knuckle solution. Or it might also be known as the grit-your-teeth solution. There is actually nothing wrong with anything on the above list – except that they ignore the root of the problem.
Am I the Odd One?
It’s sad but true, that because we writers would rather talk about writer’s block than face our writing anxiety, it means the horrific fears remain a deep, dark secret. This leaves each one of us thinking and feeling that we are somehow the odd one. The strange one. The one who is different from all other writers. And that is simply not true.
The working writer – the one who is producing on a consistent basis is the one who has faced the fears, pushed through them, and who has written, submitted, and sold in spite of the fears.
Every writer who will ever finish a novel and get the work out there for the world to read must, sooner or later, confront his or her fears. And sooner is better than later. Your courage to write may never ever mean that you are fearless. It simply means you have decided to move forward no matter how scared you are.
As you progress, you will discover that you are brave in one area, and timid in yet another. It’s a balance between confidence today and terror tomorrow. Crazy, right? But then, who said being an author/novelist is any kind of sane occupation? It’s not. It never will be.
Get honest. Stop playing around with the writer’s block syndrome. Call it what it is. You’re scared. Say it out loud. “I’m scared.” Then move to the next point: “I’m scared and I don’t care!” Now you’re making progress.
I once heard this remark which helped me greatly: “If you’re not scared; you’re not writing.”
Conquer the fears – even knowing they may never really go away – and get your novel underway and completed.
Good news! At Last!
A novel-writing course that deals with your writing anxiety.
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In the six-month writing course that I call the Be A Novelist, Six-Month, Finish-My-Novel Challenge we talk a great deal about what might stand in the way of your novel creation! It will be like looking into a mirror as you see yourself more clearly. The Be A Novelist challenge will allow you to dig deep inside of self to discover those hidden fears and to conquer them once and for all!
This course offers six full months of guidance and instruction. Guaranteed to light a fire under your novel-writing attempts and to launch you into a pattern of consistent writing! Details right here!