I have a confession to make…
I don’t want to write.
I know. You are wondering why I am an author if I don’t want to write.
Let me explain. I want to be a writer. I have stories and ideas floating around in my head all of the time. I love this talent that God has blessed me with. The problem is actually sitting down to WRITE those stories and ideas.
You see, I’m afraid to do it.
When I sit down with pen in hand or my hands poised above my keyboard, fear takes hold.
Putting my words on paper is great. I love seeing a book or blog post come together. But I’m also afraid. Afraid that it won’t be good enough. Afraid that I’ll pour out my soul onto the paper and it will be rejected. Afraid that I will keep writing and somehow nothing will come of it.
I know that I am not the only writer out there that has these fears.
I was part of a writer’s accountability group on social media. The purpose of this group was to check in regularly (every day if you could) and tell everyone how your writing was going. Isn’t that a great idea?
It wasn’t for me. The problem with many fears is that they can stem from comparison. There were quite a few writers in this group who were writing thousands of words a day! If I managed to write at all, I was lucky to get out a few hundred. I’ve attempted NaNoWriMo every year and I can’t manage to keep up with the goals for the first week let alone the whole month.
So you see, I found myself getting discouraged that I couldn’t get more writing done. If writing is my passion, I should want to do it so much that I can’t shut it off, right?
Wrong. I had fallen into the trap of comparing myself with other writers. Those goals of thousands of words per day just didn’t work for me. Those goals added to my fear.
So here’s what I did. I decided to set a timer. For fifteen minutes a day, I would write. Fifteen minutes? I could handle fifteen minutes. And I did. I didn’t worry about the number of words I’d written because my goal was to push past my fear and just get some writing done.
Guess what? I’m up to a half hour now. And on those rare occasions when I look at my word count, I am actually hitting 1,000. But I don’t dwell on that because I have not yet conquered the fear.
You know what else? That half hour is only for my fiction writing. That is not including my blogging time. I am actually writing more than I give myself credit for.
One of the best pieces of writing advice I have received so far is to just write. The timer helps me push away the fear to accomplish that.
I still have those fears. I still have to force myself to sit down to write. I don’t want to write. But I do because I want to be a writer.