I Know What Stops You from Writing

by | Nov 20, 2017 | Writing Tips

 

 

I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic
And she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
And she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
Or not wear nail polish
And she said honey
She calls me that sometimes
She said you can do just exactly
What you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don’t paragraph
My letters
Sweetcakes God said
Who knows where she picked that up
What I’m telling you is
Yes Yes Yes
Kaylin Haught, ‘God Says Yes to Me’, from The Palm of Your Hand

I know what stops you from writing. The results of the survey I recently conducted revealed that more than lack of time or focus or commitment, FEAR sets up home in our hearts – or sends in any of its ugly relatives: self doubt, dread of failure, anxiety about rejection and ridicule.

Here’s what some of the interviewees wrote:
Not believing in myself
Scared to bare my soul
Internal censorship
Fear of not being good enough
Judgement
Lack of confidence
Negative criticism… (and the list went on).

Jeez, we need a plan of action to cut our way through this jungle.

First up, I don’t know a single writer who doesn’t have conniptions about self-exposure. There are trolls out there and we have to be smart about how we put ourselves out into the world. However, we’re writers and the algorithm goes like this: FEAR + COURAGE = WRITING. So we have to find something that’s stronger than the fear. Something that pumps a whooshing YES through our veins.

Writing is about saying ‘yes’ to something inside us that is waiting to be expressed.

What do you want to say yes to?

 

The 7 Day Writing Challenge

WINGS: Words Inspire, Nourish and Grow the Spirit

Writing is the act of saying, ‘This is me. Here I am.’ It’s the most radical form of self acceptance.

What do you want to say yes to?

In writing, we only get from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can’ by touching the parts that hurt until they stop hurting.

What do you want to say yes to?

My writing is my chance to say yes to….

(Print this out and keep it above your computer. Use it as a dreamwriting prompt).

Here’s a SpoonFed writing tip if you need any more encouragement and tricks to help you manage fear:

You are braver than you think. Don’t let fear become your dominatrix.

Vision Quest

When I was two, I almost went blind in my right eye. A close friend of my mother`s had noticed that my left eye was not tracking properly. It was turning out so that it appeared misaligned, and so a trip to the eye doctor`s was quickly arranged. I was examined and...

How to Become a Writer Publishers Want

How to Become a Writer Publishers Want I often get asked, 'How do you get published?' The better question is 'how do we become the kind of writers publishers are looking for?' Here are my thoughts: Write the best goddamed book you can – live what you’ve written. Don’t...

Catching Up to the Stories Inside

Catching Up to the Stories InsideI recently went to see A Star is Born at the movies: the remake with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. Bradley Cooper directs and also plays the lead male character, Jackson Maine - a singer/songwriter and alcoholic.The morning after...

Why Writing about Your Experience Is Not Narcissistic

As writers, we sometimes shirk away from writing about our own particularities because we don't want to be ‘narcissistic,’ or ‘self-involved.’ It's a good point. Our internal musings about our childhood, illness, divorce or particular form of heartache may bore and...

Not Pretty Enough

I was never a pretty girl. Not for want of trying or wishing. But there it was. I longed to be someone other people refer to as ‘adorable’ but there was always too much of me for it not to sound ironic. My father put it straight very early on. ‘You will never be a model, my darling,’ he said as if it truly did not matter.

Books That Made a Difference in My Life

When I was in my early teens, my father introduced me to Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood, a play for voices. I became enchanted with language.

1 Comment

  1. Emma

    Thank you. I needed to read this just now.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This