Finding the Guts to Write

For many authors, our fear of failure dissuades us from writing.

I believe that this is the source of most “writer’s block.”  An author is unsure how to compose an upcoming scene, or needs a little brainstorm time to think about a character, or is just filled with nagging worries about his or her own adequacy, and so the author doesn’t write at all.

As Sylvia Plath put it, “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

From time to time, you need to dare to be bad.  Risk writing something poorly, and plan to rewrite it to greatness when you can.

If you have to, set an unrealistic page goal just to push yourself to get something done.

Or try setting a goal of using a technique that you’ve admired in another writer.

If those strategies don’t work, try finding a theme that you care about deeply, and weaving that into your work.

Whatever you do, write.  If you begin working daily, you will soon find that writing will become a habit, not something to be avoided.

My friend Ken Rand used to put it nicely.  He said, “Many people will tell you that you can’t write.  Let no one say that you don’t.”


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