The Frozen Tear is now sitting on 16666 words, 8163 of which are countable for NaNoWriMo. I freak out every time I even think about writing more, but I'm doing it anyway. I'm wondering if this is what the whole story is going to be like and the answer is probably 'yes'. I've felt the same way about all the other things I've written so far this year.
To use what always seems like a dodgy buzz-phrase, let's unpack that statement and talk a little about the fear of writing. Most sites I've read break down 'fear of writing' into a few key areas:
- Fear of failure
- Fear of success
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of baring our souls
1. The fear of failureThis one tends to take a particular form for me. When it comes to the first draft I'm a 'pantser' to the bone. This leaves me with a particular set of problems with the completed draft that the internet just tells me I wouldn't have if I'd planned properly in the first place. I can plan, but I definitely prefer to write the first draft without doing much more than describing a few characters and coming up with a setup.
So, I get to the end of the draft and realise it needs fixing. That's when 'fear of failure' kicks in, because according to everything I read I've done it wrong. I've made huge, unfixable problems for myself and when none of the tools I can find are designed to help me fix it, I find it very easy to decide I must have failed.
2. Fear of successI'd like to say I don't suffer from this at all, but that could be the stage I'm at in my writing process. 'Success' is currently so unlikely that I might as well say I'm afraid of a sheep invasion. Slightly possible, since four of our six sheep are hand-raised orphans who still believe the house is a place for sheep, but not so likely that I have anti-sheep defences in place at the front door.
3. Fear of rejectionI don't know about this one. Worrying about rejection would require me to get over my fear of never actually finishing a story. I'll drop this fear in the 'possible, but distant and nebulous' category along with the fear of success. Before I get to the point of needing to deal with this I need to come to an accommodation that allows me to have a story in the first place.
4. Fear of baring my soulYeah, that seems fair enough. Instead of baring my soul in my book (which would be scary) I'll just vomit it up all over my blog. Totally logical.
So have I discovered anything?Aside from that I'm my own worst enemy? I think I've decided that my biggest fear right now is that idea of failure and/or inadequacy. It's the belief that my approach to writing is fundamentally flawed and that I'll never be able to create something to take me on to the point where I can start finding out if those other fears are going to be a problem.
We'll talk about whether the 'exposing my soul to others' fears are contributing to the fear of failure another time. I'm sure there's something deep and meaningful in there.
Now, over to the readers of my blog. Are you feeling the fear of writing right now? Which of these fears do you think is the one holding you back?