By Claire Piech
The irony doesn’t escape me. I have just finished doing an e-mail interview with guest author Madeline Sonik on getting past the fear of writing, but rather than taking to the keyboard to burn out a blog entry, I am sitting here wondering, “How am I ever going to write this thing”.
At this point in my writing life, I should be able to at least come up with an interesting hook or riveting lede. When I was working as a journalist, I used to be able to write an 800 word story in half an hour, flat, even with an editor breathing down my back. The pressure of deadlines somehow overwhelmed the fear of writing. But now, without deadlines, just a massive blank screen, I am more fearful than ambitious. And more unproductive than prolific.
So it’s interesting – if not just slight annoying – to note that Sonik has JUST told me that she doesn’t think anyone ever gets past the fear of writing.
“In a nutshell,” she said in her wise way, “writing is scary because in doing it, we’re revealing something in ourselves and our subjective perceptions. We’re becoming visible and vulnerable.”
In a moment of self defeat, I have decided to duck out of this blog post with a list I scribbled of things Sonik said were terrifying about writing. Perhaps you will recognize yourself in point three or a point five. Maybe even point eight.
Either way, if fear is something that gets in the way of your writing, make sure to go to Sonik’s workshop during the Whistler Readers and Writers Festival where she will present her three pronged plan to help writers of all levels tackle their fear of writing. The first step is giving yourself permission to write your truth. Step two, getting something down on the blank page. And finally, losing yourself in the pleasure of writing and forgetting about the fear.
8 Terrifying Things About Writing That You Can Get Past According to Madeline Stonik
- The terror of staring at the blank page, feeling subsumed by blankness. The mind becomes a mirror of the page, and then the terror: “I don’t have a single thought in my head, and maybe I’ll never have one again!”
- The terror that others might not agree with what you’ve said.
- The terror that your truth won’t necessarily be the truth others share.
- The terror that people you know will think you’re writing about them – even when you’re writing pure fiction.
- The terror of “What if I am no good?”
- The terror of “What if no one understand me?”
- The terror of “What if I can’t find a publisher?”
- The terror of “What if no one reviews my book”