Feb 17, 2012

Face Fear to Be Better

I have spent this week trying out things I have never done before.  I entered contests and applied for positions and jobs.  It made me nervous and excited at the same time.  

That got me thinking about my writing.  Sometimes, it's really easy to sit at home with our computers and just write.  Our stories are loved (most of the time) and we just want to snuggle with them and love them and coo at them and have them be safe and just ours.  

I'm sure, however, that each of you knows that is not the way our lives can be all the time.  Most writing was meant to be shared and taking that step to sharing is a challenging thing to do.  

Maybe even down right scary.

So why try?

We owe it to our beloved writing.  Our heart and souls have gone into these characters, plots, settings.  Each dialogue is honed and tweaked until just right. Or so we think.  But for the writing to really be what we want it to be, others have to read, give insight, critique and we are going to have to make some changes.  

And then we have to let people who don't love the story as much as we do have a chance at it.  Fresh eyes.  Newly critical eyes.  

But after all the growing pains, we can end up with something really amazing.  And I'm not just talking about the words on the page.  Who we will become as writers, what we can learn, will truly blow our minds.

What writerly thing have you done that scared you?  How do you get over that initial reaction of fear to allow you and your writing to even have a chance at being better?


22 comments :

Deana said...

You are so right. It can be the hardest thing to do, but it is so worth it...in my opinion!
Good for you putting yourself out there:)

Pk Hrezo said...

love this! So so true. My mss have become so much better thanks to all the betas. They are a Godsend, every one!!

Angeline said...

One thing I do that really scares me is signing up for open mic nights. I don't let myself think about it before I sign up, I just do it, and then I can't back out again. It's terrifying, but also a total rush!

Kyra Lennon said...

This is definitely true.

I guess the scariest thing I've done so far was allow people I don't know to look at glimpses of my WIP during blogfests. It might not seem like such a big step, but as someone who has never shown more than one or two people my WIP, it was quite terrifying!

Erin Shakespear said...

Show it to people who don't love it? Are you kidding me??

Heh heh...okay, I'm just kidding. That was an excellent point. I hadn't ever thought about it like that.

Angela Cothran said...

That is one of my favorite quotes of ALL TIME! I love the idea of pushing past your comfort zone.

McKenzie McCann said...

I'm attempting to write fantasy, which I've never done before. That's pretty terrifying.

RachelMaryBean said...

Great post. I think posting things from my WIP was one of the scariest things I've done.

Carol Kilgore said...

It's scary sending your baby out to be read even by critique partners you know and trust. Everything is a learning process. It serves us well to be a sponge and soak it all up.

Happy Weekend!

Morgan said...

"So why even try?" <----I have thought this many a time. It's scary. And hard. And so easy to quit. But the calling is there... and we have to keep going.

Lovely post, Tasha!

Tonja said...

I have a real problem reading my work out loud, especially if I'm asked to stand in front of a crowd. Small crowds are comfortable. By small, I mean like two other people; three puts me over. So I keep trying.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I can send me writing out to anyone, I just hate watching them read my stuff.

I've tagged you on my blog.

Tara Tyler said...

letting strangers read my baby, afraid they'll publish it or steal my idea is my fear, crazy and a little egotistcal i guess...
just did a crazy thing today tho. i wrote on an actor's blog and told him he'd be perfect for my book! ha!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Submitting my work was scary, but nothing compared to everything that has followed since that time.

Tyrean Martinson said...

submitting my work, getting rejections, getting acceptance letters, having people read the published work and comment on it!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I just had the absolute privilege of having one of my favorite writers off to take a look at my book. Her opinion matters and I am on pins and needles to hear what she thinks! Or maybe I don't want to know...

Shallee said...

Joining a critique group was definitely scary at first, but one of the best things I've done for my writing. I'm also about to tackle a story I've been putting off-- because the story scares me. It's about things I'm afraid of and even feel guilty about, but it's also a story I feel very strongly about. I think the stories that scare us are the ones most worth writing!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Excellent post, Tasha!

Right now, I'm facing the edits/revisions requested by my new editor. And it's pretty scary.

I swing between euphoria over the way in which she's guiding me toward improving this book -- and terror that I can't rise to the challenge.

I know this is going to be a growing experience for me, even if my heart thumps loudly every time I face the computer.

Laura Josephsen said...

I think it's varied from book to book. There's always an apprehension when it comes to letting other people read it--waiting to see if they'll like it or hate it, knowing that some people will like it or not like it. I think my greatest fear came in the writing of my two-book "Rising" series. (The first book releases on Tuesday, and I'm writing the second one right now.) I have never had so many doubts and fears as I did when working on this story. When it came time to work on the release of the first book, I was SO anxious. I've moved past fear into excitement now, but the story took me to places I had never expected to go and took me out of so many comfort zones--and I think there's an apprehension in that, in wondering how it will reflect on me, or whatever. Things I've learned to walk through and move past. ;)

Leigh Covington said...

Just coming out of the closet with my writing was hard enough. Scared me to death to start a blog. Scared me again when I actually sent my MS to the first person. *sigh* Terrifying. But I have learned and grown so much. I love it!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I was terrified the first time I did a one on one pitch to an editor. And she was soo nice.

Cassie Mae said...

Is it bad that I don't get scared about sharing my writing... I'm more scared about sharing my blog posts, haha!

Mostly because my wip's are other people, characters who aren't me, but when it comes to posting stuff about me, I think I reschedule the post about 50 times before it goes up.