Tuesday, 5 July 2011

For when you get scared

A post from the archive by Fiona:
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. I have found the challenge of writing a small stone a day so rewarding and have given myself permission to just write and not really stress over the quality of writing. Right now I'm focusing on just writing- no matter how it turns out. Thank you for the encouragement!

  2. You identified my own feelings of self doubt and chocolate reassurance wonderfully. Many thanks for the inspiration and support Fiona.

  3. I remember this post. I appreciated it then and I appreciate it now. :)

    Right now I am comforting myself with a bowl of maple and brown sugar oatmeal.

  4. I notice that it is a post from the archive, so I don't know when you wrote it, but you mention you haven't (or hadn't) written poems in about a year. Each stone is a poem. Sometimes when we are stressed because we think we aren't doing something we should, we just need to look at things from a different angle, and we discover that all is right with the world after all. Just think of all those small stone poems...you really never stopped writing. And you're so right; there is always chocolate.