A Writing Life: I'm Afraid To Write

Saturday, July 1, 2017

I'm Afraid To Write

I recently finished writing a book in six weeks. And in my genre, that seems to be something to brag about. I know many have written books even faster. And yet, I don't like sharing that with people. I don't necessarily see it as a positive.

It was necessary. I had a deadline and also wanted to be done before I left for an amazing trip to Italy with my daughter. But I've been taught to believe as a writer that good is better than fast.

I can write fast, but I'm not so sure I should.

Do I think the book is good? Honestly, I do. I think one of the reasons I was able to write it fast was because I liked these characters so much and their story literally just came to me. It made it easier for me to put it on paper.

However, since returning home from my trip and having a month or so off until I need to start my next book, I have found I'm afraid to write. I'm afraid even to read. And I love to read, almost as much as I love iced tea. Or breathing.

And yet, I'm afraid.

What am I afraid of? I'm afraid I'll be inspired to write again. An odd thing for a writer to say, I know. But I fear I'm burned-out.  If I start writing now and I'm exhausted and at my end, what possible decent writing could result?  I know, I know… I've heard all the writing quotes and comments about how you have to write crap to get to the good stuff. But that's not what I mean. Well, it's partly what I mean.

I'm afraid I've lost the reason I write in the first place - because I love it.

Because it's how I see and process the world. With putting my work out there in the world so quickly, I fear I've become too focused on the response, the end result rather than the journey.

And the journey has always mattered to me most.

But does it still? It might sound goofy to say this, but I don't follow authors on social media. I used to. But I miss the mystery. I used to read the back of a book cover and maybe - maybe - get a few sentences about the author and that was it. I could sit and daydream about their life in New York or Vermont or Florida. That was usually about all we used to know about someone from a book jacket. I felt I knew them through how they told stories. As soon as I was able to see their daily life, the fantasy was gone and the reality overwhelming. And I can honestly say I'm totally fine if a reader doesn't want to follow me. Truly. I LOVE talking to readers. I'm a raging extrovert. I'll chat all day if you want. But I'm fine if you want to read my books and not know where I went on vacation.

The way things are now, the world can come along with me for the journey. And like I said, I love people so I’m good with a crowd. But I'll be honest. I miss the days where I woke up, had my coffee, read my Bible and then went to my desk or notepad to daydream and scribble away something I hope not only made sense but was well done.

Maybe that's what I fear the most. I want my work to be well done. Written from a place of wonder and curiosity, imagination and creativity. I fear I'm a tad low on those things right now. I hope to fill up again these next few weeks with lots of reading and journaling, time with my family and friends who encourage me and inspire me.

And maybe the fears will wash away, once more to be replaced with love of putting words on the page.

1 comment:

  1. Philippians 4:13 gets me through a lot

    I have two WIP and have let fear get the better of me. I need to follow my own offered words.