Like many of your readers (I imagine), in the same breath that I describe my love of writing, I must also confess that it terrifies me. I feel an inner resistance to sitting down to write, I procrastinate, I make excuses . . . and at the same time have for years felt a regret bordering on guilt that I am not writing.
Fear of failure is certainly playing a part. The regret and guilt fuel the fear.
— Leigh Lauck, Taos, New Mexico
Fear of Writing has given me new friends, a creative outlet, and a chance to
push myself to do some things I’ve been thinking about for a long time.
— Susan Smith, Bulverde, Texas
If you’re out on the Web searching for some . . .
— FUN + a way to let your hair down creatively
— Emotional support
— Creative inspiration
— Thinking outside the box
— A big ray of hope for yourself as a demoralized or currently inactive writer
. . . then you’ve definitely come to the right place! So, take a deep breath,
loosen your tie or don your fluffy slippers, relax and enjoy the ride!
Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here we should dance.
Letter From a (Very) Happy Reader
I had not read your book prior to finding fearofwriting.com. I stumbled on to your Website after running a Google search for writing. Just “Writing.” I wasn’t entirely sure what regarding “writing” I wanted, besides some HELP. What I found on your site was just—WOW. I had asked for a drink of water and I got a flood!I read EVERYTHING. Then, I jumped on to Amazon.com to buy your book. I’ve read other books on writing, and they all have their good qualities. One mantra that was consistent across texts was “just keep writing, keep at it, and keep going.” Just keep writing? I would think. But I’m FRUSTRATED with it! It’s not FUN. It has become WORK, which is not something I want to do in my spare time. Who are these people? And why did they decide to write these books? To make me feel worse? Hey, mission accomplished, sir. Can you please retire so I can hold onto a LITTLE self esteem? You know, none of them said it could be fun. But YOU DID. And you gave me the tools to play.
You’re absolutely right when you say we’ve forgotten how to play. We’re worried about all of the things we have to do or about what people will think; we’re too tired, too guilt-ridden, too anxious, too busy, too lazy. . . . We used to come up with excuses TO PLAY, and somewhere along the line, we began coming up with excuses NOT TO PLAY.
As I mentioned previously, I had a very difficult time with writings that weren’t assignments. Along with my various other psychopathologies, I’d stopped paying attention to my inner child because I was so concerned with my outer adult. I was well on my way to being nothing but outer adult—essentially a shell—unable to tap into my creativity because I’d taken away my own play time.
You also really helped me overcome some of that paralyzing stupidity that seems to envelope me every time I sit down with the intent To Write. I say to myself, “I Am Going To Write.” I get the pen, get the paper, and get retarded. I sit and I wait. A few words trickle out:
I . . . Like . . . Pie . . .
Oh God, I think. I am so boring. What do I have to say anyway? All I have in me is an affinity for pastry. So I quit.
But, Milli, your writing prompts are GREAT! I can sit down with them, and I know before I even start that I can have fun with it. I get my pen, get my paper, get my prompt, and get creative because I’m not taking myself or my writing so seriously. Because, really, with a prompt like “Waiter, There’s a Gremlin in My Soup” how can you help but get started with a smile?
I never really thought of fear as being an energy that could be used to propel my writing. I always saw it as an obstacle, never a tool. I LOVE the idea of using my fear for something other than self loathing.
Most importantly, though, you’ve helped me reconstruct my sanctuary. It really is so important to have that safe and secure place to write. And it starts with HAVING FUN. You’ve given me my two chairs and blanket, now I’m building my own little writer’s clubhouse.
So, again, THANK YOU!