Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Writing 101: Know Your Enemy

It's not easy to write something great. It's not even easy to write something that no one will want to read. There's a misconception that writers simply lounge around with tape recorders and laptops all day, busily typing away without cease. That's not what it's like. It's emotionally exhausting to write, and you can sweat for four hours and complete a single page of text. There's one great enemy that can make it impossible for you to write to your best capability. Do you know what it is...and how to defeat it?


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Fear

If you're a writer, your greatest enemy is fear. Lots of writers have been battered, maybe even a little damaged, by criticism and rejection. It's easy to second-guess your writing, to stop writing and read what you've just done...and hate it. You might start thinking about how readers will react, how literary agents will react, how publishers might react. What will the reviewers say? Will they see this coming? Will they say your writing is terrible?

Fear can easily take over your writing, and you may not even know it. It's important to stay organized when you're writing, to keep track of all your characters and always be writing toward some important plot goal. But you can't allow yourself to get too caught up in those details, and start focusing too much on trying to be perfect. Don't let fear of making mistakes keep you from writing. When you let fear do the writing, you're not going to be writing very well.

When you write, you have to know how to let go every once in a while. Just start writing -- don't think about it too much. If you just loosen up and type, you may be amazed by the words that appear on the page. In your first draft, you should always play things a little bit loose and stay relaxed. Don't think about the reviews. Don't think about agents. Don't think about the fans. Just write. When you go back later and edit, you can start stressing and fretting again. When you write that first draft fearlessly, your creativity will be at its best.

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2 comments:

  1. SO true!!!
    Fear, not only of rejection from agents, but from the readers too.
    See... I dont fear rejection from agents at all anymore, im kinda used to it, and really just tired of it.
    Now, as Im about to embark on SELF PUBLISHING, my fear of rejection falls to the readers. What if it sucks and everyone says it sucks!
    :/

    Anyways, Great post as always! When I write, I dont think about what everyone else will think. I think about what I WOULD think, if I was reading it. And I just try to write what I would think was a good book!!!
    :)

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  2. Good advice, Mrs. Jones. Thanks for sharing!

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