Wednesday, July 28, 2010

WIP Wednesday: There is nothing to fear but fear its self!

While stumbling about the net while Under the Steps, I came across a fairly straightforward little piece on Writer's Digest's website about the obstacles we directly and indirectly set to sabotage our writing dreams. Top 10 Productivity Pitfalls for Writers to Avoid by Sage Cohen. Read the 10 and I swear you'll find at least half you've done to yourself at one point in the writing process. I did and have. But the one I kept coming back to was #3.

3. Fear. Risk is the hinge on which productivity turns; if we aren’t in danger of failing, we aren’t growing. When we let fear prevent us from taking steps that could bring our writing dreams closer, we limit our opportunities to succeed.

Now I will be the first to accept my old moniker "too stupid to be afraid" and will proudly tell the tales of facing down 6'5 schizophrenics and chasing off thieves with office implements, but I do fear... I fear success. Why that is will have to wait for another day. And I know I'm not alone, which in the end does make me feel better. And seeing those 1o pitfalls spelled out so clear also made me feel better.

Better??? you ask?

Because facing a fear (or issue) with all the lights on, makes me feel braver. When something is spelled out in black and white its no longer allowed to linger in the hazy shadows of anonymity. And if you can clearly see the obstacles you have placed before yourself...

Then you can figure out how to get around, over, under or through them.


Now a small bit from my WIP, Ghost Mountain. I have been trying out POV's other than my MC Wyatt. This is Mary (heroine) quietly watching Wyatt, her old childhood friend and high school heart break, for the first time in 15 years.

"She found him standing out in the square, staring up at the night sky like he was about to howl at it.

He was taller than she remembered, broader in the shoulders too. His once enviable dark mane was now cut so short it followed the lines of his scalp. And even if she hadn’t seen his shoulders slump when he turned away from the stars, she knew he’d become a whole lot older than he was suppose to be."


  1. I understand what you mean :) Occasionally it hits me and can leave me having a monster panic attack :( So I just focus on the next three steps and accomplishing them. Sure at some point (sooner than later) It'll be publication. But till then, just three steps at a time :)

  2. I really liked the little snippet you shared, especially "he'd become a whole lot older than he was supposed to be." That's a deep, very keen kind of observation.

    I, too, fear success. I fear that I won't deserve it, that others (family-very complicated) will try to take it away. Or the ghosts that live inside the shadowy me...I just read that article about half an hour ago and am still chewing on it...really liked this post.

  3. Numbers 4, 6, and 8 for me. Aaargh!!! I feel like if I don't force productivity at times, I'd never write again. Not true, but it feels that way. And managing my time becomes more and more difficult. More pets, more friends, more obligations at the writing community, plus odd side hobbies all vie for that time slot. Hmmm... plus blogging. *sigh* Oh, well...


  4. Great article - thanks for the link, Nicole! Number 6 & 7 spoke to me. Well, and number 3 - fear and self-doubt: a writer's best friends.

    Loved the snippet. Some powerful lines and a fantastic way to describe someone without being conventional.

  5. ...a most worthy link to share:)

    self-doubt...yep, I know that one quite well.

  6. I love your snippet - I'm definitely intrigued. And thanks for the link. I think my biggest problem would probably be perfectionism, which is why it seems the revision process will never be done. :(

  7. The fear of success is something I just can't wrap my head around. I've heard lots about it, so I believe it exists (expecially when you say you suffer from it), but its not a concept I can relate to.

    Your snippet was entertaining! Kudo's.

  8. Nicole: I think I may try the 3 step rule. The step at a time aproach has worked with other things in my life, so....

    Thanks Nicole!

    The Words Crafter:
    "he'd become a whole lot older than he was supposed to be." That's a deep, very keen kind of observation.

    Thank you. The passage needs a strong editing, but I liked that part too. And I feel your pain just for different reasons. But ya know, we got this far. And damn it, we deserve it!!!

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Cort Ellyn: Hi there, nice seeing you in this neighborhood!!!

    And I so understand the jugging of many side projects and just life. I think many of us here do. I think I picked out half of that list. Thanks for following!

    Janet: "Fear and self-doubt: a writer's best friends." So SO true.

    "a fantastic way to describe someone without being conventional." I am anything but and it may bight me in the ass. I so need to review my high school grammar. But thank you so much for reading.

    Elliot Grace: "self-doubt...yep, I know that one quite well." Again, I totally agree. And the article was pretty strait forward and so true. Thanks Elliot!

    Susan Fields: Ahhh, perfectionism. The whole editing till we mangle out WIP into a red marked heap. I do that too. And thank you for reading. ;-D

    DL Hammons: Then I am happy you do not. I can not speak for anyone else, but my own insecurities and fears. I envy you. And I am happy that you were entertained! ;-D



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