Saturday, June 12

The Art of War for Writers - Two

Last time in this series, I shared a quote from page fifteen and asked for your response.  You had good thoughts, and for those who didn't see them, you can read them here.

Now I'll share what I penciled in the lines of my copy.
I have never wanted a specific job more than this one, sir!  I delight in writing.  And it's harder for someone outside to discourage me than it is for my inner doubts to discourage me.  But I press on because I know I have something and I refuse to be pushed or kept down for long.  It's actually easier to distract me with family and friend emergencies than it is to discourage me to the point that I would stop.
Can you tell I was motivated and excited about writing fiction when I gave my answer to the quote?

So, I wondered why I discourage myself.  Why am I sometimes afraid?

Chapter 8 starts out with this:
The biggest mental obstacle—in writing, in war, in life itself—is fear.
Fear paralyzes.  It shrinks the mental faculties.  It keeps us from action, in this case, writing words in order to get them published.
(The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell. p28. Writers Digest Books, Cincinnati, Ohio. 2009.)
I have seen this restraining fear in others.  I have lived it myself.  Fear is a part of life.  As mentioned in the book, it is one of our alert systems.

The book suggests that we learn from Theodore Roosevelt who pretended to be brave until the pretense became a reality.

I was recently uneasy about my writing.  I'd had so many other urgent responsibilities that I had accidentally separated from writing and even from creatively thinking about my storyline.  So I was afraid of jumping back into the story and continuing as if there had been no interruption.

But I did.  I finally buckled down and stepped back into my character's life...and gave her my fear.

It actually happened to match where Makani was, facing a point where she was uncertain and afraid.  So, I gave her my unease, and we both plugged on anyway, facing and using fear.

Have you been stopped by fear?  What are your tricks for moving on and not letting it defeat you?

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