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Hello. It’s been a while. Where the hell have you been? What’s with sitting staring at the screen? You know exactly what you want to write. You don’t believe in writer’s block so what’s going on? You haven’t even participated in anything lately. I mean, I know you’re shy and all, but this is just ridiculous. Lurking isn’t the answer. You have plenty to say and there are people out there who want to hear it. They are interested. Well, they would be if you actually spoke (or, in this case, typed). Tell me what’s going on.
IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group)
You’re right. There is a problem. I can’t put my finger on it, but I know it boils down to fear. I just have to figure out what that exact fear is. There are a few options to choose from on this. Maybe you can help me figure it out?
First, I am terribly shy. Let me explain how shy I am. I have one friend. One. Outside of family, there is only one person I talk to on a regular basis. She works and so our talking time is limited. I don’t get out much. The only times I do leave the house is to do grocery shopping or pick Precious up from school. Waving to other parents isn’t much of a basis for friendship. I do have people on Facebook whose status updates I occasionally comment on, but most of them are family as well. So, there is that fear of rejection if I open myself up to the writing world and allow them to see who I am. Some people think it’s easier to open up on the interwebz, but I am not one of those people. I think it’s much harder.
Second, I wonder just how much support I have from family, even though they have shown me nothing but support… Let me explain. They have shown me support by saying what a good job I’m doing. Hubs in particular has told me that I’m a good writer and that I need to keep doing what it is I’m doing so the world can see it too. My sister, my brother, my dad, and so on have all said how proud they are of how far I’ve come from just a few months ago when I opened up and told them exactly what I want to do with my life: be a writer. And yet, I can’t help but wonder if these are the obligatory remarks of a family who doesn’t want to hurt my feelings. This is my fear that my inner demons are right and that I am a worthless piece of crap who should give up this pursuit of happiness.
Third, I am almost done with the first drafts of two novels. I cannot bring myself to write more than a sentence here and there on either of them. I know exactly what to say because I know exactly what happens next, but I sit there, look at the screen in front of me, and reword the same sentence over and over again until I get it right. And then, it’s still never right. I did fine with “just do it” for so long, but I want the endings to be exactly the way they are supposed to be. This is the fear of the next stage of writing. The first draft is going to be crap. I know this. I’ve known this since I started both novels. But can I make it better? What if I finish these novels, edit them, and send them off to beta readers only to hear back that I am a horrible writer and no matter how much I rewrite or rework the things, they should never have been attempted in the first place?
So, it all boils down to fear. I guess my lack of writing lately, be it my works in progress or my blog, is a culmination of every fear I have listed. I’m sure there are more hiding down deep and waiting for their time to shine the light of doubt on me (a light that can be blinding), but these are what I know right now. These are the ones that I have to face every time I sit down and put fingers to keyboard.
I suppose getting these fears out in the open is help enough. And that wouldn’t be possible without you. I think I might have a lot of writing to do today, because I know you are out there, supporting me, rooting for me, and slapping me upside the head for good measure while saying “Get to it already!”
For that I say thank you. And ow=)
Kathleen Doyle – Writer