Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Fear

I’m dipping my toes back into the writing world.  I’ve had to take a break, for a number of reasons (I talked a little about it in my Coffee Share this past weekend), but I know it’s time to start easing myself back into writing, of any form.

I’ve been thinking some about the kind of writing I do.  I have a deep interest in writing fiction, but the stories aren’t flowing as strongly as they once were. It’s probably a combination of things – my depression and anxiety have been running pretty rampant this year, and I’ve had a pretty full schedule between Jamberry work, my day-job, figuring out some health issues and social things. So my energy has been pretty drained, making it hard to muster up what I need to do my writing. There also is a distinct lack of “free time.” Not to mention I haven’t been reading as much (damn you, depression, making it so I am not able to really become engrossed in a book), which has traditionally been one of my fiction-writing-inspiration-points.

More and more, probably because of many of those same factors, I’ve been finding myself drawn to the idea of writing non-fiction. I have moments where I think that things I’m going through, things I have knowledge of, might be of interest to others.  But that instantly gets knocked down by fear (thanks anxiety). What if I don’t actually have something worth saying?  What if what I have to say isn’t of interest to anyone else?  What if… what if… what if…. And my writing ambitions get swallowed up by the fear that those things I have to say – some of them quite important to me and my life-journey -will be discredited and torn apart.  That someone will say that I’m wrong, and therefore, somehow, invalidate all that I think and feel on a topic.

It’s ridiculous, I know, but it’s a fear nonetheless.

When I’m writing fiction it’s easy (well, easier) to shrug things off if someone else doesn’t like what I’ve written.  “Not the target audience,” can be a wonderfully comforting phrase.  It’s also easier to separate from myself. While my fiction is certainly infused with my reality, drawing from what I ‘know,’ it is still something separate from myself. Non-fiction is much closer, at least the sort I’ve been thinking about writing, and so the risk factor becomes so much higher.

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5 thoughts on “Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Fear”

  1. The thing about writing– any writing, is that you don’t have to put it out into the world if you don’t want to, or aren’t happy with how it’s coming together, or are afraid of the reaction. You can fill up pages for yourself that no one will ever see, if it’s going to help you get back into the groove of writing whatever it is you want to write.

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  2. I think it’s natural that from time to time the ideas won’t flow as well as you’d like. Keep pressing away, and hopefully you’ll be able to improve your rough first drafts into something you’re happy with. I’m rarely happy with the early versions of anything I write, but by editing (or even just by excising that parts I don’t like) I can turn it into something I’m happy with.

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  3. I’m sorry to hear that writing has been such a struggle for you lately. I’ve shied away from non-fiction writing for the same reason you mentioned here. Why would anyone want to hear what I have to say? Those fears are common and can stop us dead in our tracks if we let them. Best of luck!

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  4. Welcome back to the writing world! I always wanted to write fiction, but for a while I did consider non-fiction. I enjoyed getting my thoughts down and at times it felt much easier to writing fiction. But I came back to fiction and as I enjoy blogging, I believe my non-fiction will stay there. It’s been a lot of trial and error and experimentation, but you eventually find what you feel comfortable with. Good luck!

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  5. I’m usually terrified of rejection–or of not being accepted, or of whatever variation I can think of–when I’m looking at it too close up. In the big picture, though, nobody can ignore me any harder than they already do by not knowing I exist.

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