Writer Stage Fright?

Ever found yourself psyching yourself out thinking your pieces are just not good enough? Ever feel like you are so consumed with your own fears that you just end up paralyzed? I have.
I have written stories for as long as I can remember even before I could read or write. I would stand in front of the cassette player and just tell classic fairy tales differently. I think, in that pure form that’s what a writer does. Nowadays we are so obsessed with intellectual property that we forget that it was never truly ours in the first place. Nothing is ever truly original, we all are part of this fantastic universe of minds and we are constantly retelling the same stories over and over. It is not what we tell but how we tell them.
It’s 3 am and my brain is scattering thoughts, grabbing pieces from the sky and piecing work together.
Artists have strange sensibilities. They tend to soak up all of the world around them, and spew it out in a different form. However, their own selves, their narcissism can consume them to the point of madness. Absorbing all of the world’s issues is never good for anyone without a proper outlet. If we put back that madness to serve others, that’s just good common sense 🙂
For the longest time, I tried to be something else other than a writer or editor or illustrator. I tried teaching full time, in marketing companies or whatever other thing that popped up. But somehow, writing always caught with me. It wasn’t perhaps the way I envisioned. I wasn’t holed up in a flat in NYC writing a novel, I was writing online , becoming a Managing editor or working in development projects writing scripts or what not.
It’s something I couldn’t escape from despite my best attempts. Now I am faced with another challenge. I have two half finished novels sitting in my desktop. A couple of half finished stories, that need to be told. Why did I stop? Because I had this huge overwhelming wave of fear . Fear of rejection. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of exposing my self the world. Creating something is an oddly personal process. It’s like walking out naked in the park and exposing your flaws. So for years, all that writing just sat there. Sat there because I felt that somehow I might not measure up.
Now I don’t see it that way, the perspective is changing. I don’t have to be The Best. I just have to let it out to the universe, a small thread bound by millions more. Let it reach the cosmos and set flight, even if it is only for a time.
So, anyways, I am asking your help. I am going to post up some of my chapters and see what you think. It’s the idea of putting things out there that sometimes can be the hardest… every Wednesday I will put out a little bit. You can choose to not read , I am just warning everyone it deviates from my regular blog posts 🙂
Sometimes the only way to conquer fear is to hug the beast fiercely even if it might claw your back in the process. Let’s hope I am right about that.

9 thoughts on “Writer Stage Fright?

  1. I would caution you to think twice about this. Some people can be cruel or harsh with their comments, and writers can be super sensitive when it comes to our writings. There have been times when I have wanted so badly to share an unfinished story with someone but I always try to resist that urge. Even the most innocent criticism can throw a writer off task and kill a potentially beautiful piece of work. I urge you not to let anyone see your work in progress until you have a first draft. Then, put it in a drawer for a week or two – use that time to separate from it, and then show it to the world.

    1. That’s great advice thanks 🙂 The stuff that is just sitting there has been things I wrote years ago, so I am pretty detached on them. I think my problem is being overly cautious. haha. I had a particularily brutal writing group in college that might have created the stage fright so now I need to do some exercises to remove it 🙂 But yeah, you are totally right about that advice

      1. That’s the problem with writing groups, I think. If they’re not filled with nurturing and encouraging people, they’re not worth attending. The one important fact I learned working in Hollywood (and taking story meetings with producers, directors, executives, etc.) is that a story really can be told a thousand different ways. There are so many choices a writer can make, and all those suggestions, “helpful hints,” and yes, cruel criticisms, are simply some of the choices. What makes a story special is the writers voice. And your individual, unique, and beautiful voice is something you will find by writing, writing, and more writing. From what I’ve seen here on your blog, your voice is a fine one.

      2. That’s so true. I learnt that as well over time as a Managing editor and working with lots of different writers. Writing is not homogenized, yet for some reason the educational set a framework that encourages a rigidity which stifles diversity. It’s definitely changing, but not enough for my taste. I love the idea of a voice. That’s what makes people stop and say ” oh I recognize this piece as it is from this author” 🙂

    2. I don’t for a minute think you should hold anything back that you believe is worth sharing fro fear that there will be criticism, whether well meaning or otherwise. If you can’t take something from every comment you should not be writing. The idea that one writes for himself is total bull. We who write believe we were born to share, not unlike teachers who feel a need to broadcast their knowledge. Good teachers utilize great presentation; good writers. regardless of the subject matter or the truth of what they write, cannot succeed without presenting their material well.

      1. THat’s a good point… I think however that the biggest hurdle was my own criticism, or my own fears more than whatever people were saying at the time ( which I have totally forgotten)
        That’s very true, sharing is a part of the process. It’s probably why when I didn’t write I was writing overbearingly long emails to my friends. 🙂

      2. Every writer is different, and I respect your ability to take criticism “whether well meaning or otherwise.” I can’t (or won’t) open myself (or my writing) up to critique until I have a finished product. That’s just me though. Other writers might be braver, but not this writer.

      3. I guess that is part of the process that every writer has to go through, but probably the big thing is recognizing barriers or which might limit that process and thus placing boundaries are vital….something which I have yet to find what works best for me. It’s definitely part of creating a framework for writing isn’t it? Very interesting you got me thinking!

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