Fear and Joy

Share

Today I am writing about the joy of fear.  Yes. I know, joy and fear don’t go together except for roller coaster rides and scary movies with buttered popcorn and cold colas. The movies and food, not the roller coaster and food. That would just be really messy. But bear with me.

We talk a lot about fear here at MW – fear of having ideas stolen, fear of showing our work to others, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of quitting the dependable job, fear of tackling something new, fear of deadlines, fear of writer’s block (Which does not exist. Does not, I say!) fear of having multiple computer backup failures and losing *everything*,  fear of having to perform (koff koff) , fear of reviews that say we suck, fear of actually writing things that really do suck, fear of giving up, fear of not ever giving up when we might should have, fear of not being a good writer, fear of falling into a writing crutch and not being able to see it until someone else (worse, some *important* someone else) points it out to us, fear of embarrassment, fear that people are patronizing us or feeling sorry for us when they say we write well, fear of winning awards, fear of not winning awards, fear of never even being nominated, fear of not being able to make a living with our writing, fear of wasting our lives and time, fear of spoiling our one good chance to get published (or published ever again) by saying / doing something stupid, fear of making a fool of ourselves in public, did I say fear of failure yet? And of course, fear of repetitive, run-on sentences.  

Did you see your own fear in here somewhere? Do you have others?

Most religions have a scripture (and nations have wartime leaders) that say(s) something like, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” And how terrifyingly true that is. Fear can be debilitating, and because it’s a survival instinct honed by millennia of lucky, fearful, fast-moving success stories, and is hardwired into us by evolution and/or design (not getting into that here) we can’t make it go away. And if we did, we’d be dead pretty fast, because fear keeps us from stepping in front of cars, driving sleepy, kicking fire-ant hills, spitting into the wind, stepping on Superman’s cape, and other foolish acts.

But what if … what if writing falls into the foolish category? What if I really am a pitiful writer?

Every time I think that what if, I’d like to strangle it. But it’s usually strangling me.

Did you see your own fear in here somewhere? Do you have others?

We writers live with the, “What ifs” of life all the time. “What if” is a question integral to our creative process. We can’t write if we can’t look at life’s “What ifs?” in the face and challenge the whole kit and caboodle , like David facing up to a well-armed, well-trained, armored, angry, giant— Goliath—with only a sling full of rock, talent, and moxie.

And that is where the joy comes in. The joy is a direct result of walking up to fear, wearing nothing but a metaphorical loin cloth, carrying a leather slingshot and a bag of rocks in a goat-skin bag, staring up at the ten-foot giant that has you ready to pee in your pants and putting all your talent and strength into your weapons (in this case your keyboard) and raring back and slinging all you have at the fear. Winning is … fantastic. Euphoric. Joyous. Even if you lose, you still have joy because you didn’t hide from the fear or drink it away or run away like the scared little rabbit you really are. The scared little rabbit I really am.

For me, posts about fear are a form of 12 step program. Hi. I’m Faith, and I’m a terrified little rabbit quivering in my boots about the future, which I cannot control. I hate, hate, hate not being able to fix things, do things, change things, protect the weak, heal the broken, and write while under extreme personal stress and under tight professional deadlines, while working full time and trying to have a life. I’m terrified that I am not good enough to make it all work. There. Take that you big, rotten, evil, giant Fear.  I am sitting down at my desk and I’m writing. And watching Fear fall at the onslaught of my typing fingers.

Did you see your own fear in here somewhere? Do you have others? Do you have special ways to fight it, kill it, destroy it? How do you cope with the fear and turn it into joy?

Faith
www.faithhunter.net

 

Share

46 comments to Fear and Joy

  • My biggest fear is saying something publicly, embarassingly wrong (or, as The Fonz says, wrrrrrrrroo…). This has tentacles into some of the fears you listed: Fear of showing our work to others, fear of having to perform, fear of reviews that say we suck, and so on.

    I deal with it by painstaking research before I say anything 🙂 I guess the joy I get from this is in the learning, and being fairly assured of being right, at least in my own mind. Not entirely sure if this is healthy or not, but it works for me 🙂

  • Here is why this is such an insidious fear. I’ve spent the last 10 minutes going over my previous comment: Does it accurately describe how I deal with my fear? Is it too much information? What about instances, like this one, where research doesn’t apply? I didn’t mention how I deal with my fear then. That’s a logical inconsistency, and we can’t have that!

    The best way to deal with this is to tell my internal editor to piss off and then move on.

  • I just love how glibly writers spout the “fact” that writer’s block does not exist when it is obvious they have never experienced the neurological and psychological manifestations that make it very, very real. True, what a lot of people call writer’s block is one form or another of procrastination, but that doesn’t make the genuine article any less crippling.

  • I used to fear that my writing was too slow, so I’d avoid “too many” setting details and deeper characterization. My stories were ultra-sparse and felt like everybody was talking in whitespace.

    Eventually, I convinced myself that a reader would stick with the story as long as they had a vested interest. Combine that with a little confidence and my prose has relaxed a little, allowing for richer settings and characterization.

    But now I fear I may have gone too far and some of my readers are saying things are slow. *sigh* Slow for that reader, slow compared to my previous work, or just slow. Not sure yet.

    Cheers,
    NGD

  • Great post, Faith! About ten years ago, I went on a trip to Cozumel with my family. One afternoon, we went out snorkeling (yeah, just snorkeling, not SCUBA, but…) I was *terrified* to go — afraid of the water, afraid of the wildlife, afraid that I wouldn’t be able to get off the boat, afraid that I wouldn’t be able to get into the boat, afraid, afraid, afraid. In fact, my fears were reinforced by three of the adults on the trip, who refused to snorkel.

    But I did. And I loved it. Even with the adrenaline pounding in my ears, I adored what I saw. But I especially loved the fact that I conquered all those fears.

    When I’m most bogged down in the Existential Fear of Writing, I remember what it felt like to get back on that boat after seeing amazing fish, etc. Sometimes, the wonder is enough to carry me through 🙂

  • Oh yeah, pretty much all…but…maybe without the Jim Croce. 😉

    I have a hard time pushing off the fears once they’ve latched on and it can ruin an entire day of writing. The biggest is fear of failure, of never making it, never getting to where I want to be, never being accepted/picked up, and the final and most important one, proving people right that I shoulda just stuck with a good old fashioned back breaking menial labor job until I fell completely apart instead of doing that writing thing that’s not making money and probably never will. On the other hand, I’ve also grown a bit of an ego, cultivated the tiniest spark of vanity, which after the initial fall helps me climb back out of the Pit of Despair (said with plenty of wheeze and gravel) and get back into the game. It’s that side of me that knows I’m good at what I do, the side that says I’ll be dam…er…darned, if I let it beat me, the side that’s been doing this stuff for over twenty years, honing skill, reading books, and logging in the word count. That’s the part that pulls me up by my neck and pushes me back into the fight when I’m ready to throw in the towel, the one that makes me believe that I can do this mad thing, though the odds are stacked against me.

    Yet with every rejection without explanation, it returns to smack me around again. What? They’re just not ready for my mad genius? They weren’t right for me, not the other way ‘round? Thanks, Ego, that really helped! Well, back in the ring, I go.

  • I fear that I won’t be able to produce at a fast enough pace and meet deadlines while also still holding down a job, especially given my other challenges (ie, MS). I fear that I don’t read at a fast enough pace, either. I fear that some of my non-writer friends aren’t really my good friends anymore because I’ve had to put my foot down and make writing a priority. I fear that because I’m sometimes working at a slower pace, all this energy I’ve put into my work isn’t enough, and the piece I’m just done with now won’t get picked up. I fear that I’ll never be good enough, or that if a publisher finally picks me up, I won’t sell enough or I’ll be critically panned.

    NaNo helps me deal. The challenges to produce a large amount without a critical eye (though I admit, it’s hard to loosen up sometimes) can be useful for rough drafts and word counts. The social aspect (my group meets year round at least weekly, we write together and socialize together and most of us have become friends) also helps. It feeds my spirit and helps me get stuff done. But I’m still hungry.

  • Check, check, check, etc . . . Yeah, I see lots of my fears listed there. Fear is the single most debilitating emotion/physical response that gets in the way of writing. Manning up and facing it alone can be very difficult, which is why posts such as this one are so useful. The fact that writers I admire, brilliant writers, have the same fears I do adds to the arsenal to fight the fear. Ironically our need to perform and appear unruffled often causes us to hide our fear, when sharing often helps conquer it.

  • sagablessed

    To quote a great Sci-Fi novel, Dune: “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
    I think that says it all.

  • TwilightHero

    Self-doubt is and always has been my biggest problem. The nagging fear that I’m not experienced enough, or I’m not doing it right, or I’m just not good enough has gotten in my way more than once. But then there’s that tiny spark of self-confidence that speaks up and says, you’ll learn and grow and adapt; you’re doing it right now. What’s the right way to do it? You’re better than you think. I wish it would speak up more often, but at least I know it’s there. Excellent post, Faith.

    And now back to work. Goliath’s goin’ down 😉

  • @Wolf: Faith didn’t present “Writer’s block does not exist” as “fact.” She presented it as opinion; she stated it forcefully, but she also did so with humor. I have often done the same. Because I don’t believe it exists. I believe writing is hard, and that what people call “writer’s block” is actually just another term for “writing” and the struggles inherent in our art. You believe it does exist. That’s fine. But don’t be nasty about it, and don’t make Faith’s expression of an opinion to which she’s entitled into something it was not.

    Faith, this is a wonderful post. I am choosing to turn my fear in a positive direction (at least I am today). So my fear is that if I don’t work hard enough, if I don’t fight for every success, I will miss an opportunity to achieve my greatest goals. And I’m not going to let that happen.

  • Nearly all these fears bounce around in me. I’ve always thought one of the reasons fear is so difficult to fight is its ability to adapt. I start off fearing that I’m no good at writing, then someone says I am good. My fear immediately switches to “He just said that to be polite.” If another person also says my writing is good, the fear jumps to “what if you become successful and arrogant and lose all of your friends?” Fear is a slippery enemy, hard to destroy.

    A few months ago I saw a greeting card with a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: “Do one thing every day that scares you.” I bought it and now I look at that every morning and think of one thing to do. I’m still working on making that one thing sitting down to write.

  • sagablessed

    I also must agree David and his comment on civility here. I enjoyed Faith’s wonderful post, cuz she nailed just about every fear I have.

    On that note, my biggest fear is that I suck at writing; that I will never be good enough to be published.

    I shall let this too pass through. i will be published, even if I have to do it myself. Now, back to my WIP and the joy of creation.

  • My biggest fear is that I won’t ever be able to comb out the plot snarls that I struggle with in the editing process.

    Have to agree with David and Faith on Writer’s Block. I think the problem with that term is that it tends to be a catch-all for a host of other problems preventing people from writing, but which is presented as the problem itself. Rather than saying “I’m having plotting problems with my story”/”I’m having trouble connecting with my main character, but it’s going to be too much work to start over”/”I can’t accept the imperfect beginning of my book, so I’m stuck revising and revising and never moving forward”/”I’m so tired coming home from work that I honestly can’t even put my brain to writing”/”I have dyslexia/depression/anxiety that is getting in the way of me being creative”, a lot of writers just say “I have writer’s block”.

    What makes this inherently destructive is that it presents a problem with no identifiable solution. It also allows the author to place blame outside themselves or make excuses that don’t include addressing whatever the real problem is. Sometime, as in the case of dyslexia or depression or anxiety, the issue is much more difficult to address, but should be treated with respect for the struggle. Calling it “Writers Block” may sound more artistic, but doesn’t do justice to what the writer is actually going through. Most of the ones directly related to the story or the process can be handled, but not if they’re left unidentified. The first step toward getting past a block is identifying what it is.

    Saying you have Writers Block is essentially saying “I’m a writer, and I’m stuck on something”. We’ve all been there. The important thing is making that next step to identify what’s got you stuck. There’s nothing wrong with being a struggling writer, but it is infinitely more helpful to figure out what’s really going on and start working toward fixing it.

  • quillet

    Yep, I have that fear, and that one…and…yes, pretty much all of them. Thank you, Faith, I feel less alone!

    One of my coping mechanisms is, ironically enough, to write. Not fiction-writing, though, but much like what Natalie Goldberg suggests in _Wild Mind_, where you sit down with paper and pen and just let the words spill onto the page, everything you’re thinking and feeling in that moment. It’s like therapy because it helps vent the steam. It also loosens up my petrified writing-muscles, I find, which can then lead to actual fiction-writing.

    And not to fuel any arguments here, but I think writer’s block (*flings holy water and cries, I deny your existence you foul fiend!*) is just a shorthand for what happens when some or all of the fears gang up on you and win. I agree with Scribe that the best thing to do is figure out which fears, and try to address them.

    Oh, and a special wave to Dave Carlile. Ten minutes over a comment? …Yeah, I do that. (Shut up, internal editor. Shut. UP.)

  • Faith> No matter what, you must never, ever mess around with Jim. (That’s one of my favorite songs ’cause my dad is a big Jim Croche fan and he used to sing it to me in the car when I was a little girl).

    I’ve got lots of those fears, and it feels dismissive, but a lot of the time, I just shove them to the side and do something else. I’ve got enough to do that sitting around being afraid is avoidable. It doesn’t stop the fear, but at least I feel like I’m moving.

    That said, one of the things I do to cope is keep options open–I say a lot of “yes.” And that’s a good thing a good percentage of the time. *looks around at the metaphorical piles of work that are very soon going to become literal* On the other hand, my “options open” now means I have a huge s#$t ton of stuff to do. So, I’m going to have to sacrifice some things to do things I really want/need to do. This means I have to be uber-tight with my scheduling and time. I’m capable of it, but it does cause stress.

    Fear also sometimes makes it harder for me to let things go. I’ve got a thing or two in my life that I need to let go of. I’m almost positive (see that little fear there? that almost?), but I can’t quite do it yet.

    Physically speaking, fear manisfests as anxiety that creeps in at night. When everything else in the house is quiet (except maybe the cats) my mind starts racing about possibilities, etc., and I sometimes can’t get it to stop. That’s something I need to deal with so that I can get rest and do everything else I need to do.

  • RE: Writer’s Block – My Papaw had a saying about hardship and life, “It’s just another rock in the road. You gotta kick it (or sometimes roll it) out of the way and keep going.” I prefer to look at it as Writer’s Rock in the Road (huh…WRITR…interesting, that…). Figure out what the problem is, decide on how to deal with it, roll it out of the way and move on. No matter what you want to call it, the trick is figuring out the underlying issue (because there will always be one) and dealing with it. 🙂

  • WOW! Let a girl go to lunch with her mom and look what happens!

    Dave Carlisle, I love the idea of pissing on my internal editor. LOL

    Wolf, we disagree as always, but I’ll say this — giving it a name makes it real. So for me, it does NOT exist!

    NGDave, my rule of thumb is — Something plot-important that ratchets up tension has to happen every ten pages. That alone makes it fast.

  • Mindy, conquoring that fear was a joy that I can share. I had a panic attack that resulted in night terrors the first time I went upside down while skirted in to a white water kayak. It was horrible. But I pressed through and the joy of running a white water river has changed my life!

    Daniel, I love this: I’ve also grown a bit of an ego, cultivated the tiniest spark of vanity, which after the initial fall helps me climb back out of the Pit of Despair …
    Yes! You are growing the turtle’s shell all writers need. 🙂

    Laura, being hungry for the first sale is a great way to beat back the demons! DIE Fear! 🙂

    Kalayna, yes. When I feel fear that I can’t fight back on my own, I’ll write or call an understanding friend (you know who you are) and share and they will help me through it. Hey! Put me on your fear-call-list.

    Saga, The writer of Dune created Scientology, which uses that exercise as a part of becoming *clear*. And every single religion I know of has something similar. Facing our fear is part of survival.

    Twilight, I’ll be listening for the thud as the BBU giant hits the earth!

  • David, Fighting through today’s battles is all I can do too. Friends like you make it a lot easier.

    SiSi – I love that quote from Eleanor and *totally* agree! I add to it, and do one thing every day I hate. Some days for me it’s eating beets (which I hate). Somedays it’s paying bills.

    Go saga!

    LScribe, thank you. And yes! This is it exactly and I love the way you said it: It also allows the author to place blame outside themselves or make excuses that don’t include addressing whatever the real problem is.

    Quilett, I never thought about throwing holy water at that demon! I like!

    PeaEmily, letting things go is the hardest thing in the world. Even bad things are security blankets. I totally get that. When you let one of those somethings go, write me. I’ll celebrate with you!

  • Susan

    Biggest fear – loss of control of everything/anything. Yes, I am a control freak, afraid that if I let go, things will spin out of control, crash, and burn. I have a hard time letting things go and NOT taking responsibility for things that are totally out of my control. Trying to get better at it, am getting better at it but still haven’t smashed that yellow monster to a pulp yet. In the meantime, I just keep paying the dentist’s mortgage, car payment, etc. as he fixes the teeth I destroy with my grinding from my fear and frustration.

    OTOH, there are good (legal!) pharmaceuticals out there that help one through those panic attacks. Sometimes when the fear is too great, one may need to resort to “better living through modern chemistry” to quote my s.o.

  • Daniel, Yes! I love WRITR! Kick it. Toss it. Stomp on it. Take a hammer to it. But don’t name it. Not ever. That gives it power!

  • Susan, I am a control freak. Ane life is determined to steal that control at every turn. I hate it. Panic attacks are real problem for me too, and I have a really good med that helps me with the worst of my panic attacks. A break with a beer on the back porch helps. Talking with friends. Cuddling with my dogs. Remembering that life is good and the fear is NOT in charge. It’s a dying giant, defeated with a few literary rocks and moxie.

  • @Susan – I use copious amounts of 110 vodka. Don’t necessarily recommend it, but… 😉

  • Susan

    @Pea-Fairy – the head going into hyper thrash mode when lights are off is often a marker of ADD. If so, you need to learn to work around it, not try to bash its skull in. 🙂 (If it’s ADD, it’s hardwired.)

    I’ve learned to set the tv on a boring channel, set the timer and let it bore me to sleep. The radio will also work for me. If I have something to focus on, I can stop the mind from churning due to the lack of all stimulus.

  • And I’m being a bit facetious on the panic attacks. I had to help a guy through a real, full-blown panic attack (and possibly asthma, I’m still not sure) while paramedics were called, once when I worked retail. It’s a rough thing. I’ve only had a couple, myself, and like migraines, I don’t want another. I think, in part, it’s one of the things that pushed me toward focusing/calming techniques and meditation, among other things. I helped my wife through an asthma attack during a climb in West Virginia a couple years ago. Susan – If it’s bad, I’d look into meditation and Reiki, if I may be so bold. It could help.

  • Fears? *laff* Oh yes, too many to get into here. I’ll focus on the one about being afraid that my writing is not inherently good enough to garner good sales. There are days when I sit staring at the laptop screen and visiting the same websites over and over again even though nothing’s changed because I can’t face writing another word of crap. A few downer comments sometimes make me doubt my ability to write out a check.

    To get over it, first I get up from the laptop. I need a physical change of scenery to break the mental lockdown. I get a drink that always picks me up [not making suggestions, here :)], maybe a guilty snack, and I re-read my own scenes that I’m totally in love with even though I know they’re not great writing. For me, re-connecting with that deep love of my characters is the first step to getting back to writing.

    I remind myself that all writers [well maybe except for Asimov] have gone through periods of doubting themselves. I remind myself that I drove from western North Dakota to New York State in a U-Haul, towing a car with pets inside, all by myself: never having done anything like that before. I remind myself that I’ve gotten some positive feedback on my writing.

    I go to one of my “internal writing prompts”: any scene I’m really interested in writing though I know it doesn’t fit in the manuscript. I write it out as fully as I can, I fall in love again. Certain characters always make me smile.

    I’m fine with my internal editor. It’s my internal doubter that I hate 🙂

  • Thanks, Faith. My statement was an obscure reference to an old video game, Chrono Trigger. In the part set in the far future, there’s no food to be found, but there is a machine you can step in. It heals you and gives you the energy of a night’s rest. As the game points out, “But you’re still hungry”. I meant that I still have those fears. That being said, you’re right. I *am* hungry for a sale. 🙂

  • Owl, I love the ideas. And that is a *very* good point. I’d like to stake my doubter!

    Laura, now I’m having a good giggle. L)

  • Yep… This is the sort of thing writers deal with on a daily basis.

    I remember Lani Diane Rich once said that writers will take any pat on the head they can get because we don’t get enough compliments. It takes a year of work to get a few compliments on your book and by that time you’re already headlong into the next (your mileage may vary).

    Personally my fear is that I will be told that I wasted my life and that I’m not good enough and never was. It helps to know that I have trained myself to stare most fear in the face and take it down. My friends think I’m brave. I just think I refuse to go down without a fight.

  • A. R. Gideon

    Last December I realized the reason why I was doing so bad in school was because I didn’t want to do what I was going to school for. I wanted to be an author. My family and friends support me and believe that I can do it, but my worst fear is that I’m deluding myself. That I’m not a good writer, that I won’t be able to get published, and that I’ll let them down.

  • Cody, I have no words of comfort, except to say, BIC. 🙂 Stone Goliath and write.

  • I fear I’ll never sell another book.
    I fear I may sell more books but not while my parents are alive to be proud of it.
    I fear that people who tell me how great my writing is are only doing it to spare my feelings.

    It’s all self-defeating nonsense, designed to keep me from reaching for the stars, and I know it. But it’s so simple to listen to the fear-voice and give up. The one thing that shuts it up is putting more words down on paper. So it’s back to work I go. There are a ton of words that need to be wrangled and tamed before DragonCon.

  • This is a great post. I’ve always been attracted to things that I’m afraid of because I like the joy that comes from getting over it, like you said. Besides, when it comes down to it, I’d rather have tried and failed (which is, of course, a big fear for a lot of writers — failing epically) then never have given it a go.

  • Susan> thanks for the suggestion. I do know it isn’t ADHD, alas. It’s anxiety that’s cropped up in the last year and a half or so. Life events, stress, etc.–a bunch all happened at once. And even good stress can do it. 🙂

    Faith> I’ll certainly let you know when I let the stuff (even good stuff) go that I need to let go. 🙂

  • Misty – Just get it out there. I know I’ll buy it at very least. First book was great! Tame those words, TAME ‘EM! Gotta know what happens next! 🙂

  • -smile- Thank you, Daniel.

    Oh and Faith, my darling, you do know that Frank Herbert wrote Dune, and L Ron Hubbard invented Scientology, yes? You were just testing us, right? -grin-

  • Misty. Please let me slay that Giant. You can write. So saith the woman who told you to can the shorts and write a novel because you can write. And you WILL sell another book. Speaking things gives them power. 🙂

    IGTrotter – I feel the same way. If you don’t try, well, you have already failed.

    Pea – Good!

    Daniel, your positive vibes feel good!

  • I am ROTFL at myself! Oh. My. Gosh! I am an idiot. Wait — what number was that fear about doing something *stupid* in public again????

  • Razziecat

    Those fears. I haz them. And there is a special fear for those of us who have never been published, because–and please don’t take this as criticism or making light of your fears, because all the MW folks have been nothing less than awesome–but you have at least been to the top of that mountain, some of you many times. I’m afraid that I waited too long, I’m too old, let too much time go by without throwing everything I’ve got into my writing. Sometimes the thing that helps the most is remembering that even published authors get scared–that they’ll run dry, be unable to repeat past successes, and so on. And sometimes it helps to remember the night I began to really write again, and didn’t stop until 6:00 the next morning; nothing has ever felt as good.

  • Funny you should post this topic today of all days. I’ve been fighting fear paralysis all day long. I afraid of change, even when it’s change I’ve been trying to make happen and especially when I can’t control the outcome – right now I’m staring down the barrel of a couple very, very big life changes that if they happen may be exactly what I’ve want for years. So I’m petrified.

    I’m also scared to death that I’m wasting my time on this revision – that nothing I write is going to be good enough, but always will be “almost good enough.”

    I don’t know that I am coping right now. More like hanging on with my fingernails. So today I wrote 2,000 words because I said I would. And I’m going to go bake something because you can’t argue with the success of a well made cookie. Later I’ll do my best to keep plowing through the revision. Because I said I would. If I have to stop and cry, I will. Then I’ll keep going because, really what else is there to do?

  • sagablessed

    Dear Misty: You will write another book that will be fabulous. We have issued Our decree, as We have faith in your literary accumen.

    ps Don’t make me send pixies with raspberries to do a fly-by fruiting, young lady.

  • Sarah, that’s it, isn’t it? You really can’t argue with food success. Anybody who likes chocolate chip cookies (or whatever) will gobble up a well-made one *and not critique it*. Writing, a whole different horse! “Well, I mostly liked it, but the main character got wimpy sometimes” … “Loved the main character, I would’ve been just as scared as he was! But I couldn’t figure out the villain, why was he so mean?” … “That plot twist at the end was great but I thought it happened too soon.”

    Stop “butting” my story to death! Just take your cookie and enjoy it. There is no perfect story that totally pleases everybody. You like chocolate chip, this is chocolate chip and I used the best ingredients. So it’s not a perfect circle. That doesn’t make it taste less wonderful, does it?

    Dang, this is at least my second writing-as-food analogy in the last three days.

  • Razzie. Do a google search on Jean Auel. Seriously. It is NEVER too late! Here is the wiki link with her birthdate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_M._Auel
    Her first book was published in 1980. So far as I know, she is still writing. You have today. BIC.

    Sarah, change is terrifying to me too, mainly because while I’m hanging on by me fingernails, it is a act and I am chage. If I let go, and accept the change/fall/future, I am NO LONGER in charge. Let go. Enjoy the roller coaster ride of life!

    Owl, I like food analogies. 🙂 And Cookies.

  • Great post and conversation, F. Sorry to be late to the party.

  • AJ, you have been a tad busy. 🙂