Banishing the gremlin on my keyboard…

SO I wrote before about my fear of failure, at length, sorry about that. Its one of those matters that generate too many words. I’m not sure any of them help, the fear remains and what can words ever really do in the face of that?

Worse I feel as though I am coming to crunch time. Writer up or shut up.

Last night just as I was about asleep I was gripped by an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. I don’t know where it came from but it ripped me awake, my heart scudding in my ear like an alarmed pinball. I felt like a child playing dress up in writers clothes.

So, in the fresh light of day that has faded but I still have this fear to overcome. Mum suggested hypno-therapy, in between chanting, asking your guardian angels, reading the I-ching.. (have I told you about my mum? Remind me to sometime) I’ve always been of the close your eyes and cross your fingers school; nothing will get something done except doing it. The problem with this is, I’ve already tried it. The only reason I queried at all. I didn’t know if I was ready, if the book(s) – technically I have queried with two, even if barely with the second – was ready. I really looking back didn’t know much at all. But I know my perfectionist tendencies, my ability to doubt so before I could get to locked into self mocking, I went for it.

I’ve read a lot more since then, talked to writers, agents, publishers. It may have actually increased my fear. It made the whole thing more real. I could probably work myself up enough to employ the same method, but I am not sure I want to simply power through blind anymore. I would like to get some enjoyment out of the process of publication, enough certainly that it doesn’t taint the entire venture, including the writing. Because right now, from the very start it has. The minute I started writing with the aim of publication it was lodged in my mind. My first book was written with the specific aim of writing something like ‘everything else.’ I was writing to be published and that meant burying my own voice. I have since resurrected it, but those voices, the voices that woke me last night, continue to whisper, ‘that’s too you, too strange too different. Nobody will want to read that’. Which equates to no one will want to publish it.

So… crunch time.. not quite ready to have a conversation with the angel upon my shoulder, but I am embracing things I have previously been somewhat dismissive of. Like life coaches. I like the way this woman writes – that matters for a writer 😛 I like the way she looks at things. So if you need a bit of courage, read on..


3 thoughts on “Banishing the gremlin on my keyboard…

  1. I don’t know how many words of comfort I can give, except that most of the really great writers that I know by name are ones that I can hear THEIR style in the books. I could pick up anything written by them and know it’s them: Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, Shakespeare, Anne McCaffrey, J.K. Rowling, not to mention tv and movie writers, M. Night Shyamalan, Joss Whedon, J.J. Abrams, etc. These creators put themselves into their work. And their unique style is what sets them apart.

    Don’t get me wrong, you still have to know how to tell your story the best way you can, and write it the best way you can, but your voice is what will set you apart. Not every agent/publisher/editor is going to like it because it’s not their style or it’s not trendy right now, but that doesn’t mean it’s not valid or that your voice isn’t what will make you stand out.

    I hope you keep writing in your voice and learn to trust in that. I know it’s a hard road–I think most of us have struggled to get there. But you can. 🙂

    1. oh thank you! Its so lovely to know someone is listening.

      You are completely right of course, its just sometimes hard to remember that. Nothing paralyses more than fear.

      1. Too true. And putting so much of yourself into writing only to have someone reject it can feel so personal! It’s not easy being that vulnerable and it is scary. But if you truly want to write, then just take it one step at a time, and keep knowing you aren’t alone. 🙂


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