Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Mind Killer

Yes, I'm talking about fear. It is a mind killer. It destroys our ability to think. If we can't think, we can't create. As humans, we don't want to do things that scare us, unless you are an adrenaline junkie. But seriously, how many writers do you know who are also adrenaline junkies? Anyone? Anyone? The silence is deafening. Yes, I know there are exceptions, but writers are generally not into flinging themselves off of buildings, or jumping motorcycles over canyons. We might be crazy and neurotic, but not that crazy.

But I digress.

I've been reading a lot of bios about writers. I'm not stalking, I'm just curious. You always hear about how this author, or that author, wrote their first book at the age of young and how they always wanted to be a writer, etc. etc. You never hear them talk about being scared to write or being scared that they would fail. I find that interesting, to say the least.

Here's why. When I was 10, I was scared to write. I never thought I could do it. For me, writing was a constant struggle. I had consistently low grades in English classes. In 7th grade, I wrote my first poem (because I had to). It was about the wind (I think). It was the first time a teacher liked my writing. Unfortunately, I had a lot of emotional issues that made it difficult for me to accept praise. As such, her praise did not ignite the passion to continue writing.

Now, that isn't to say that I didn't create. I was constantly creating. It was just in my head. I would read a book (which I did all the time) and would image what would happen to the characters after the end. If I watched TV (which I rarely did except at my dad's on weekends), I would image what was happening after the show/movie was over. Then there were the toys (see my post: Breathing new life into old things). Looking back, I lived in a constant state of imagination.

My first real foray into writing was during my angst filled teenage years. Since I felt like I couldn't write prose, I instead tackled poetry. It was great. I thought I was the best poet in the world. Yeah, I've looked back at some of it, it's not nearly as good as what I can do now...just sayin'  I did attempt to start a story, but I ended up stopping for no other reason than I was scared. I remember the story, and I plan on re-writing it. It is in my head, after all.

So, what does this have to do with fear, that great killer of minds and creativity?


The underlying issue with all of this, was fear. I was so scared that I would fail, that I never really tried. I had, and continue to have, several ideas floating in my head. It's a never ending buzz of mental sound. A month ago, I really started writing. 25,000 words later, and I realize that I can do this. It only took me over 30 years to realize (and a lot of encouragement from some awesome people) that I could accomplish something of this magnitude..

I've been doing my best to encourage people who have expressed an interest in writing. Why? Because, if they are interested, they want to do it. The only thing stopping them, is fear. I recognize a lot of their excuses. I should. I've used most of them.

Now, April is not an official #writemotivation month, but I will still post what I plan to do.

  1. Write 20,000 words on WIP#1 (I did it last month, I can do it again).
  2. Blog once a week
  3. Cheer and encourage my fellow #writemotivation writers and anyone else that needs it

I think that should do it. :D

I'll leave you with a famous quote from President Franklin D. Roosevelt at his inauguration.

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”

'Till next time.


  1. Dude! You hit the nail staight on the head and drove that puppy home! Fear is what stopped me from tackling the novel length! (Let alone everything else!) But I met someone who really encouraged me to just go for it. Without that encouragement I would not have forced mysel to go at it...let alone two at a time. Just in case you are interested...check this post out:

    1. Wow! That post sounds eerily similar to mine. :D

  2. This resonates with me SO MUCH! I've been writing on and off since I was a kid, but I never made many stabs at writing for publications--and followed through with writing to a finished product even less--because I was afraid. I didn't believe in myself. I've finally gotten to the point where I do, but a lifetime of NOT writing has made it difficult to make writing a regular thing now. But I'm working on it.

    Here's to getting past the fear!

    1. Thanks! I didn't try to write and submit anything until a couple years ago. Even though nothing has been accepted, I don't feel like a failure. I think I've opened a Pandora's Box here because now I can't stop.

      Here's to defeating fear! :D