I’m not a believer in writer’s block, in some unseen force sent from another dimension that magically holds our creativity hostage.
I do believe that writers can block themselves.
No mystical energy is stopping the words. We are. The question is…why?
Why do we sit in front of the computer, in front of a blank notebook and stare? Why can’t we write words?
Did we forget how?
Do we not want to?
Is our well of story ideas empty?
It’s no secret that I am struggling with the words. I know why.
I have decided to query agents with this manuscript. An agent. My entire writing career has been me not querying agents because I firmly believe no agent will sign me. I’m not good enough.
So to have these specific plans for this book, pretty much destroys any self-confidence I ever had. Why finish it when I’m going to fail? It will never be good enough. I can’t create the perfect thing in my head on the page. If I can’t reach this perfection, I should just give up.
But let’s look at the real fear here. Because it’s not the thought of failure. Someone at my writers’ group uttered a phrase, one I’ve heard, one I believe, one I had forgotten.
People fear success. What do we have if we reach our dreams? Where do we go from there?
I fear this manuscript will be good enough. I fear an agent offering rep. I fear the world I don’t know, one where I am not searching for the path I want to tread, but am walking it.
A few years ago I signed a manuscript with a small press and with the excitement came panic. I don’t know how to be an author with a published book. I don’t know what that means. I still don’t, but I realize that not a lot of people do. We learn as we go.
Maybe that world isn’t so bad. Maybe I’ll find my way there.
Instead of fearing setting foot on the path I dreamed about for so long, instead of striving for a perfection that isn’t attainable, I am going to do my best. I’m not a terrible writer, I do okay. This book idea is pretty cool. If an agent doesn’t like it…I’ll carry on with another dream.
Though that isn’t the fear, is it? The failing, the rejections. It’s that offer that’s scary. It’s that I am good enough. It’s living in a world I don’t know.
It’s okay to be scared. It’s not okay to run from your dreams because of the fear.
Look it in the eye.
And write the words.