Courage to Write

hlr2“Success is on the other side of fear,” stated one Massachusetts Conference for Women keynote speaker. That resonated, like many tuning forks, a gentle, humming, rhythm in my soul. Is it fear that keeps me from blogging? Is it Fear that keeps me from writing? Does your fear prevent you from doing what your heart desires?

Below are my top ten reasons I haven’t been blogging and why my novel stopped cold at the two-thirds-complete mark. Even more important, are the ways I combat my fear. If you have successfully surpassed your fears, please share your experience in the comments. I have so much more to learn!

  1. Trolls.  I’m afraid of trolls and their immobilizing criticism. Remembering why I write is critical to battling my trolls.  Very loosely paraphrasing Brené Brown, are your trolls experts in you topic? Listen to quality criticism, consider it, and use what you believe to be correct.  Toss the rest.  To learn more about Brené Brown, pop her name into your search engine.  You won’t be disappointed.
  2. Wishy-washy.  That’s right. I can be mid-argument and then see your point and switch sides.  Where’s my passion?  What do I believe in?  Guess we’ll find out in time.  Or maybe not…
  3. Who cares?  Does anyone care about my concern about the NH budget and the State’s under-served populations? Or my interest in the US Women’s Soccer Team (by the way, they are back in action against France on January 19, 2019); Who wants to hear about the books I’m reading (Sisters by Rosamund Lupton), or about my character Marti and her struggle to keep her coffee shop open.  Perhaps few people care about this odd combination of interests.  But writers write because they have to.  Not because others might read their work.  Thus, bottom line: if no one cares, who cares?
  4. Hard Work.  My novel is complete. It’s in its final draft. It’s time for the revision.  Ouch.
  5. Time. Summer vacation, rake fall leaves, family fun, coffee with friends, walk dogs, wash windows, forty-hour work weeks, holidays, Facebook and email. Exercise – – not. The only way to make writing happen is to write.  I must find time every day.
  6. But first… This is just a bit different than having the time.  This is when you have actually carved out the time, but first you have to organize your space, or tweet, or check your email, or hang pictures, or buy new pens, or choose just-the-right photo for your blog, or anything other than do what you are supposed to be doing.  Stop. Now.  Oops, wait, why are you closing this page? WAIT…I didn’t mean right now!
  7. My friends will gossip.  Gossip is not the same as constructive criticism.  It is behind your back and snarky (I love that word!).  But even gossip can be positive. If friends gossip about my blog or my book, it’s free advertisement!
  8. My family will be embarrassed.  I would never do anything to purposefully hurt my family. Period. I believe I’m careful enough that I wouldn’t do anything to inadvertently hurt my family. That leaves them to be embarrassed just because I am writing.  Sounds like their problem; not mine.  I think I can let this one go.
  9. Failure. Why fear this? If I fail, it means no one is reading my stuff.  If no one reads my stuff, I have nothing to fear.  Right?
  10. Success. And now we’re back to the trolls.

So, in time with the tuning fork, my heart beats write, write, write.  And when that gentle thrum fades, I will find a way to to reactivate the lovely music that inspires my creativity.

Click here to explore the sounds of tuning forks.

Added on 03/02/2014:  If you are a new blogger, you might enjoy this Phases of Blogging post from “A Collection of Musings“.

Added on 12/16/2018: Most of this is still true, except I did finish Rosamund Lupton’s book, I exercise now, my writing space has changed, and my first attempt at a novel has been tabled. Now I’m working on my fifth draft of Carly’s story.

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About Barbara Rath

Enjoy reading, writing, hiking, hangin' with family, friends and my dogs, watching soccer (Go Breakers), baseball, football. Favorite foods are coffee, chocolate, and artichokes. Always thinking of new stuff to do and then not doing it.
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One Response to Courage to Write

  1. Joan says:

    Keep writing!

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