Thursday, August 28, 2014

Writer's Fears

This post is not going to be about writing fears into your characters. I can do that Monday.

No, what this post is about is this: Sometimes, I am extremely afraid.

It's not that I won't be published. I'm that kind of stupidly optimistic person who refuses to believe that something will never happen just because I hit a few roadblocks. Besides, in this day and age there are so many options open that one day, I really so think my name will be on the page somehow and somewhere.

Yet all of that doesn't stop me from being afraid.

Because I just finished reading and editing the most recent version of a friend's manuscript. It was great: suspenseful, occasionally smart-ass, emotional, and full of so much truth about the nature of change and how inevitable it is. I loved it.

Because I've read snippets of another friend's book, and it's intense and harsh at times and at others it's soft and still intense, and there's action and more suspense, and it's a roller-coaster of a ride through a futuristic version of Spain. And there's still a little humor, just to lighten things up.

Because a great many of the books I pick up to read, and wind up loving, have some kind of comic relief in them. Something small, even: a one-liner that makes the corners of my lips twitch and occasionally laugh so hard (at one line, mind you) that my roommate considers calling an ambulance because I just can't breathe.

D'you see a kind of pattern, here? Many books have a comic relief; it can be a character, a small event, a single line. And maybe right now I should have a disclaimer:

Disclaimer: I'm not saying that these books are comedies. I'm saying that they contain extremely sharp wit that's delivered at just the right moments. Capiche?

To continue: every time I read a book, I tend to compare it to my own. I wonder if I use certain elements correctly, if my voice could be as strong as somebody else's one day. And the biggest fear of all is that I don't have any of those quick quips that bring a reader out of the darkest pits of despair, even if only for a moment.

Basically, my fear is that my writing style is too dark. I've been told that it's a strength based on how I use it, and, personally, I love my writing style. I may not love my actual writing 97% of the time, but heck, I do think that my style reflects me in my most truest moments.

But the doubt always wriggles in: will that help me or hurt me in the long run? The only answer is to keep going. I do what everyone's told me so many times, and what I've told countless others-the truest and most cliched writing advice of all time: keep writing. Because, like I said, I'm stupidly optimistic. The only way I'll ever know is if I try, and this is a question that I sure as hell am not going lave unanswered.

So now I invite you to share: what are your biggest writing fears, and how do you overcome them?

Tweet It:

She might be stupidly optimistic, but she's also only human. @Rae_Slater shares her biggest writing fear (Click to Tweet)

On doubts and fears in the writing world. @Rae_Slater invites you to answer the question: what are you afraid of? (Click to Tweet)

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