I’ve had people ask me what it takes to become a writer. There are many possible answers to that question. The least helpful being, “Put your ass in the chair and write” to “Writing is easy. You just open a vein and bleed.”
Since I started on book 4 in The Intergalactic Matchmaking Service series, I’ve been struggling with writing on a consistent basis. Usually, things tend to flow forth while scenes play through my mind like short movies.
This time around…not so much. While I think I know what the problem is, it’s hard to figure out a way around the “blockage.” I can’t change the pain, the doubt, or the fear that is causing my current difficulties.
Trying to work my way through this, I asked myself what were the most helpful things to keep in mind for writing. What are the things to be most grateful for? I came up with four things to start with…
The importance of family can’t be overstated. Not everyone in your family will be open to reading everything you write, but their support in other ways is just as important. Just having your space and time respected is invaluable. I know that neither of my sons have read my books, but they are always there with encouragement. No amount of telling them I don’t write graphic sex scenes will make them comfortable enough to read something labeled romance. >>sigh<<
Our friends are there with encouragement, just like our family. However, friends will most likely be more honest or blunt with their feedback. While they tell us what they like about our writing, they will also offer suggestions for improvement or ask for clarification. For me, my friends play the role of my own cheerleaders.
Our fans, too, are invaluable. Without them, we would be writing for ourselves, right? Fans offer encouragement when they leave reviews, when they interact with us via social media, or when they e-mail us with questions about our books. This is our audience; the reason we sit down and put the many words in our mind onto paper. This is the group we strive to touch with our words, our visions, our abilities. This is the group that impacts us most. This is a group that I am so very, very grateful for. I’ve been blessed with fans that like the stories I wish to tell. From myself, and Mamzell (my feline Production Manager), and Mister (my feline Relaxation Coach)…my deepest and most heartfelt “Thank You!”
What? Grateful for FEAR? Yes. As odd as it sounds, I have to be grateful for fear. Without the fear of failure—which rides me without mercy at times—I wouldn’t try to stretch myself nearly enough. The fear of living a life with no meaning will keep me moving forward to find ways to leave a positive mark in the lives of the folks that I care for. While fear of failure can be a despicable monster much of the time, sometimes it actually serves a purpose. It keeps me from finding that “comfort zone” and curling up inside it…and never seeking the boundaries. Without fear, this Road to a Dream would become quite boring; less a road to blaze my way down and more a comfortable spot under a shade tree taking an uneventful nap. Fear may keep me guessing, and may present me with obstacles to overcome…but I refuse to let it build a wall higher than I can climb.
How about you? What are you grateful for? Do you embrace fear?
Until next we meet on this Road to a Dream…be kind to each other…and to yourself!
>>>Mamzell & Mister overseeing my work at my desk<<<