Writing is scary as hell.

Writing new things is scary.

Let me try that in a different way.

Writing something new is scary.

Hmm… no, not quite right.

Writing is scary.

There we go! Now, what the hell do I mean? Writing is fun, it’s exciting, it’s so damn freeing that it’s all we want to do!

Yes, it’s all those things. But, as a writer, it’s frightening. I wish I could say that I’m one of those strong people who couldn’t care less what others thought about my writing, but I’m not. I write something, post it somewhere online, and immediately I feel like I’m in this closed box and someone is about to open it and punch me because my words are stupid. Or misspelled. Or passive.

I mean, we could lie and say we don’t care about anyone else’s opinions. Some of you out there are actually like that, and I applaud you, I wish I could be you.

But, I’m still this guy. No matter how many skin-suits I make, I’m still just Ray. With an insane lotion bill. Anyway, where was I?

Oh yes. Writing is scary! How can we make it un-scary? Well, you could be a bestselling author, I guess. That kind of validation would go a long way towards not being afraid.

But what if you’re like me, and you work 40+ hours a week and find time to write, rather than time to watch T.V. or spend with your family?

Short answer—it’s not going to happen. Writing is going to scare you. That new, shiny, breathtaking idea is going to turn on you in about 30,000 words and bite you on the cheek. It’s going to shake you until you’re in a fetal position on the floor, bleeding. So what do you do?

Well, you be scared…and then you write anyway. Push. Get the story out, lose a hand and a few toes in the process, but you get that damn thing out of your head. These are only flesh wounds, and flesh heals.

Because you know what matters, in the end? What matters, is that you are a writer. Writing is exciting, it’s freeing, it’s pulse-pounding. Who else can watch a scene unfold in their mind and get excited, then watch it come to life on paper? Who else can be as the gods, and create life where there is none? Writers. You.

So, be scared. It’s ok to be scared. In fact, if you aren’t scared, you probably aren’t doing it right.

3 responses to “Writing is scary as hell.

  1. It sucks that the thing you are afraid of is also the cure to your fear. So much. 🙂

    For what it’s worth, my experience with fear is that if you keep doing the thing that scares you long enough, it eventually gets a little easier. The nice thing about writing is that even the worst case scenario won’t (usually) kill you! Maybe don’t put a picture of Muhammad on your cover, but other than that… XD

    PS: You are a very good writer with the capacity to write with intelligence and subtlety. I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with your career! 🙂


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