On Daring to Write…despite all the voices in my head telling me not to…

I think everyone has a small grimy goblin sitting in the back of their head saying all the things we shouldn’t dare to do.

Well. At least, that’s the way it seems.

Mine is particularly vocal. And I hate it with a passion that is not to be denied.

Most people would say caution is a good thing. Knowing what you are and what you can safely do. No bumps, broken bones, or accidents. You avoid saying the wrong thing if you say nothing at all.

Caution is not particularly helpful when trying to write. In this post alone, I’ve probably deleted as many lines as I’ve left typed. Why is it that I have to feel I’ll break if my characters fall? Is it because I think I really am flying with them as the pages dance by?

Or is it from all the criticism I hear of books that seemed alright, but somehow gained, I don’t know–an antifandom? of people who hate the story to its core. What about the books that are simply ignored? Not good enough to warrant a second look? What about the books, so delicate, so innocuous, that bring so many subtle, terrible things to life, poison minds, and send the good things in the world crashing to the ground?

All because of the smallest little words?

Books can do that. It isn’t even all they can do.

It’s quite paralyzing, really.

So I don’t write. For all the little reasons. I say tomorrow will be better and set my titanic drafts aside. Procrastinate. Later. It’s just a waste of time to sit with fingers poised over black keys, not typing a single word. It really is.

I don’t try to give writing advice. I don’t know if what I do works for anyone else because I’m only myself. But I know what I have to do when this happens.

Lie to myself. At first. Don’t misunderstand. Writing is all about telling yourself stories, after all.

So I don’t write. I indulge the bad TV-chocolate-hot tea-good book-new movie-no blogging-unhealthy lifestyle habit. And behind the lie, the rest of my brain is still awake, watching for the slightest glimmer of something in my ordinary life that might spark an adventure. A story.

I have to remember how much writing feels like flying before I can forget about the fall. I have to remember that I still am head over heels in love with what I do before I can take that first step into empty air and make something new.

And then I can forget about who might one day be watching my every word. I can sit down at my laptop, take a deep breath, imagine where I’m going,

and just


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