Wednesday, February 7, 2018

IWSG Saying Goodbye to February Fear


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time. Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.


Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!  Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG
I'm currently #40.

I've been thinking about fear a lot lately. Why? Because that's probably the main reason I haven't finished the three projects I'm currently working on. I started all three over a year ago. Even though I didn't get to write much last year, these stories are ever present in my mind. 

December and January saw some progress. It helps that if I get stuck on one, I can work on another. It's been slow, but I'm making myself sit and do something almost every day. Some days that's only 500 words. It kills me, because when I allow myself to relax, I can get 1000 words an hour. Something's holding me back.

I read the next two chapters in Eleena's story at writer's group last week. When I finished there was a moment of silence that kind of freaked me out. Then one of the ladies simply said, "That was really good." A veritable love fest followed and that freaked me out too.

The story isn't finished! I don't really know how to close the gap from where I've stopped to the ending I have planned. What if I mess it all up?

Then I remembered a post I wrote on my family blog back in 2009, a year before I started this blog. I went and looked it up because I needed the comfort of remembering what I wrote back then. Here's a bit of it:

This quote is by Marianne Williamson from her book A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracle (also used in the movie Akeelah and the Bee and incorrectly credited to Nelson Mandela's Inauguration speech in 1994). 
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

"Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.

"We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
 

How many times in our lives do we begin to hope for something, begin to believe that we can accomplish a goal or task that seemed unattainable, and then decide to be "realistic," convincing ourselves that we are too average to really do what we wish? We dream of making a difference in the world, of producing something that we can leave behind with our name on it, but fall prey to the whisperings of inadequacy. It is so easy to do, and we all do it in some form daily.


My insecurity is linked to the fear that this could be the best story I've ever written. Theoretically, it should be the best simply because I've worked hard to improve over the last 8 years since starting to write. I know that in my head. It's logical. However, that puts a lot of pressure to continue to grow. 

What if I can't? What if this is the best I have inside of me? 


What kind of fear do you let cripple your creative energies?


February Question: What do you love most about the genre you write in most often?

I write mostly in the science fiction genre. I love being able to create new worlds in my head. There's always the possibility of something completely new and unique. There are rules, but because I mix my scifi with fantasy elements, I'm free to do whatever I want as long as I create my own rules to follow. And I'm never trapped on one planet unless my character has been left behind without viable transportation. :)

Mostly, I love that I can explore and tackle any emotion or issue I may have in real life in a way that I can manipulate it and overcome the trial. You can do that in any genre, that's what writing is all about, but being as I'd get on a shuttle into space tomorrow if someone asked, I write science fiction.

25 comments:

  1. That's an amazing quote.
    Can we grow so fearful we don't write? Yes. But the greatest fear should be what happens if we don't.
    Cool your group loved what you read to them.

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    1. I totally agree, Alex. It always comes back to that doesn't it? What happens if we stop writing? That truly is a scary thought.

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  2. That is my most favorite quote and it has helped me with fear many times in my life. Fear of failure and fear of success can be happening both at the same time in us and that is what paralyzes us. Marianne also says we're either in fear or love. When I remember that, I can switch myself out of fear and into love and then I'm not paralyzed anymore. Good luck with this. Sounds like you have a gift that needs to be shared.

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    1. What a wonderful thought! I'll have to work on remembering to turn the fear back into love.

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  3. I LOVE that quote. SO the answer is, if you can't live up to the hype, then rewrite. =) Eventually you will get there.

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    1. So true! I actually love the revision stage of writing. The drafting is so hard, but watching trash turn into something readable is so thrilling. I have to keep reminding myself it's okay to write that first trashy draft. LOL.

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  4. That is an amazing quote.

    Last year, I also started three books. I wrote here and there, but last year I definitely didn't write much. In December and the first few days of January, I did make headway on one, but then struggled. I think about the stories all the time, as you said, but I'm struggling with balance and lack of motivation.

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    1. Me too! It's so much easier to just imagine the scenes out in my head and then binge watch the history channel. :) I've been trying to make myself sit down and try to write the same time every day hoping to find my energy for writing again. Here's hoping we both get back to where we want to be.

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  5. I've definitely had that fear of 'what if this is the best book I write and all the rest don't stand up to it?' This is where my stubbornness comes in and I keep plodding on because I don't want to stop.

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    1. That's what I need then, a good old dose of stubbornness.

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  6. That was every inspiring. I couldn't switch from project to project like that. I wish I could but I stubbornly finish what I'm working on when it might be better to leave it alone for a while.

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    1. Sometimes I think it would be better for me to stick with one project, but it never quite works that way. Isn't it great that there are as many different ways to write as there are writers?

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  7. Of course it's the best thing you've ever written. But that doesn't mean that you won't ever top it. You're constantly becoming a better writer. We all constantly become better at what we do. As you keep getting better, your work will get better.

    Make amazing now. There's no need to hold back just to make sure you can do better later.

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    1. Always the logical one! Thanks, Liz. I've let go and made progress this week.

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  8. I feel all inspired now :)

    I love how many people like scifi

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  9. I'm inspired, too! God did not give us a spirit of fear. And through Him we can do all things. YOU can finish that story and make it the best one ever.

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    1. Thanks! I've made a lot of progress this last week. Facing fears and allowing God to take it from us is one of the most wonderful things in life.

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  10. Like many commenters before me, I loved the quote. Acting in the face of fear is courage. You have the courage to finish those stories. I know you do. Now, get cracking. :) I love sci-fi for your reasons and because it gives us hope for the future of humankind.

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  11. Doubt really is an anchor that holds creativity back. I have a hard time finding the time to write, but when I carve out the time, I immerse myself and wonder why I procrastinate so long. Then start the cycle all over. I have a few short stories published, but keep going back to the unfinished trilogy. i love everything about the trilogy, but I'm so afraid to do more with it than send it to beta readers.

    I hear you on the doubt.

    Love how involved your writers group is. Not many authors hve that much support. Trust your group :)

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    1. Okay, this year you have to do something with your trilogy. If you love it, others will too. Here's to both of us lifting anchor and sailing away from our doubts!

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  12. That quote is amazing! And true!
    It's a good idea to have more than one project going at the same time. This means you'll never be bored or stuck because you can jump between the two projects as the mood dictates.
    I'm working hard on not letting fear stifle my creativity...it's a daily grind.

    Writer In Transit

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    1. Those are the exact reasons I give for having two or three projects going at once. It helps that they are all so different, however, I really need to just finish something. I think that will help my insecurities immensely.

      Good luck keeping your fear at bay as well.

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  13. Definitely a quote to consider! I'm not so sure I agree, but... then I can see where it applies. What if we're asked to do it all again and again?!

    Countries... even cities or tribes are the planets of fantasy. The car... it's one heck of a space shuttle. ;-)

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