Fear and (No) Motivation in St. Louis

>> Friday, August 7, 2009

I have not accomplished any writing for at least a week now, possibly somewhat longer. I've lost track, actually. So many things are going wrong for me in my life that I have trouble picking up the pen and putting it to paper. I've finally tracked the phenomenon down to fear, in the last couple of days--fear that I will fail in my writing, too. Fear that my work will get rejected again, as it has countless times before. Fear that I really can't write after all, because I don't have any talent, and that people are only lying to be "nice" when they tell me they like my work.

I guess I figure that since nothing else is going right, why should my writing? I'm thinking in particular of the short story I sent in to a magazine, which I am waiting to hear back about, and also of the novel that I am currently close to finishing.

So how do you get over the fears and start to write again? How do you make yourself pick up that pen? Do you just write through the fear, or do you need to do something, a cleansing ritual or what have you, before you can again? Thoughts and advice, my fellow writers?


shield maiden August 7, 2009 at 9:08 PM  

*hugs* Quilly, all writers go through phases of fear and lack of motivation (if not once, multiple times).

For me, when I get depressed about my writing, I switch gears for a bit. Read a book I've been wanting to read or play a video game or two. It's not easy to keep writing when my thoughts are solely negative about my writing, and it doesn't help me to objectively perceive them either.

I guess my advice to you is to look inside yourself and find the purpose behind your writing. Is it to be published? Is it catharsis? Both? I know this helps me to keep focus when I write.

Also keep in mind that there have been countless famous authors who've been rejected numerous times before their stories took off. Not everyone strikes gold so easily.

I would be more than willing to read your novels and give you objective advice on character development and plot. I know from experience that it is difficult to find friends or writing partners that will give objective critiques.

Don't give up! Let me know if you ever want me to take a look at your story. If you ever need to talk, you know you can drop me a line :). I'll be your writing buddy!

Echo August 9, 2009 at 7:21 PM  

I only wish I knew the answer to that. I could solve your problem and mine as well. Good luck with that.
(And, on a random note, I really hate that book. Hunter S. Thompson and I are not friends.)