How fear can stall your writing: And how to get back on track, one page at a time
A never-ending novel
Before I started working on my book again, I thought it would take me forever to finally finish it.
I felt as if I were standing at the bottom of a really high mountain looking up, and had a long trek to get up there. The tip of the mountain was even obscured by clouds, so I didn’t know quite how tall it was. Unreachable was the word that popped into my mind over and over.
And then one day I decided I couldn’t put it off anymore. I’d decided that my book was going to get written, and I committed to writing on a regular schedule so that it actually happened.
And do you know what? My perception of the mountain totally changed.
The novel that became endable
It no longer looked all that tall or unreachable anymore. In fact, withing three months, I will likely reach the top–the end of my first draft.
So what felt like it would never come to an end is actually going to much sooner than I ever expected.
How did this happen? How could I see things so differently from one week to another?
I realized it’s all about my perception.
Sidelines versus action
When I was sitting on the sidelines looking up thinking, “Wow, that’s soooo tall!” I wasn’t doing anything. I was stalled. Maybe even intimidated, and a bit afraid.
But then something inside of me said, “This fear sucks and I’m tired of it. I’m going up there, ready or not!” and I did. I put one foot in front of the other, writing one page at a time, and suddenly the mountain became only a hill–and one I can totally climb.
Isn’t this so true of many things in our lives? When we stand back and think of the end it seems unattainable, but when we break it down and work at it bit by bit it gets handled. Even if we’re not quite sure we know what we’re doing when we begin.
- building our education,
- building our career,
- learning about ourselves as we grow and change,
- learning about relationships,
- gaining friends and losing them,
- being part of a family,
- becoming independent.
I admit that my book is writing itself through me and has been since the beginning. That may have frightened me for a while, but I’ve learned to accept the fear and act through it by continuing to write.
And now that I’ve faced my fear, that big old scary tall mountain, it’s become my hill that I can climb in a short time.
I won’t underestimate the power of acting again. I used to feel like I had no control over ever finishing this book, but now I realize I was giving my power away because of fear.
I will try my best not to do that again because I’m already partly up that hill so the top gets closer every day.
From the series, Write On! by Jacqueline Snider, writer and editor