Thursday 30 December 2010

For when you get scared

Writing can be a thorny business.

I've been doing it for many years now. I have four completed novels behind me, a book of poetry, a book of small stones, and a book of questions

The blank page still scares the bejesus out of me. I sit down to write my work-in-progress and think 'what am I doing thinking I can write? of all the deluded (mumble mumble)....' I have avoided writing poems for almost a year now. 

Maybe your small stones will leap eagerly and willingly into your laps, but if you're like the rest of the human race you might also have occasional thoughts like this. 

How can we continue when we're convinced the whole project is pointless and that everything we ever write is utter rubbish?

By taking a pen and writing a single word. And then another.

Thank your doubts kindly for their input, and continue anyway. Reassure your critic that you WILL allow them out, when you have written your small stone and you want to start polishing it, but not until then.

Writing can be a thorny business. But then so is life.

We are all in it together. The river of stones, and the river of life. We can encourage each other (do visit each other's blogs next month and say what you like). We can take comfort in the knowledge that every single writer ever has had terrible doubts about what they're doing. We can learn how to encourage ourselves, and get better at this as we go along. We can eat chocolate. We'll be JUST fine.


  1. And here I thought I was the only one feeling this way.

  2. This post has helped me a lot with my nervousness to begin! Letting the inner critic speak later is probably best... write more, judge less. :-)

  3. 'what am I doing thinking I can write?' haha i ask myself that all the time. thank you for reminding me that i am not alone :)

  4. Hi Fiona. Just to say that I am hoping to participate in your river of stones and have put the logo on my sidebar and given you a mention on today's blog. I look forward to beginning.

  5. We ALL get scared (or we should). But it is good to be reminded that we're not the only one!

  6. My husband, for no reason, came home with a single red rose. Perfect - bot not quite, because the lovely florist, anxious to smooth the path of love, had cruelly snipped off the thorns; left my rose with no teeth - except one, which she missed. My rose is old and dried now; still so beautiful, and I have turned it so I can see its one thorn as well as its bloody mane. Life IS thorny. Amen.

  7. I write because it's sorts out all the mental images, voices and the great imagination. Writing is fun, healing and full of life, my life...real or kiddy on. Words are a super charge for me. I fall in love with a word and think it, rambling around my head it takes on an image or more. No matter where I am, what I'm doing, the mind is always in motion, water drops tinkling over the stones. I write to give purpose to life.