I've struggled with putting pen to paper the last several months. (Because fingers to keyboard just doesn't sound the same, am I right?!) I just can't seem to focus and don't have anything to say. Really, what's the point of writing then, right?
Only every author blog I've read and book on writing says to write anyway. Write even if it sucks. Yes, well, I know about that. I could easily fill a dozen pages with awful writing. And that drives me crazy. I'm not what I would call a perfectionist, but putting writing out there that sucks? Wow. That's hard. That's vulnerable. That's scary.
Why scary, you ask? Because it confirms my fear: the fear that I am a terrible writer. Whew. There you have it. There it is.
And there is freedom.
Fear only has power if you allow it to rule your actions.
It's easy to see when fear is in control because it drives your decisions. Fear stops you in your tracks, keeps you from stepping off the ledge, from diving into uncharted waters. Fear is powerful and, until I read The War of Art, I believed its lies. Fear tells you it's bigger than it is. Fear tells you it's not worth the risk.
The War of Art helped me to see that the way to overcome fear is to walk right through it. That spider web of fear? No one wants to walk through the spider web. It's nasty. It makes us shudder. We avoid it at all costs. But that web? All it takes to dismantle it is to walk through it, brush it away, and keep walking, keep writing.
Writing that sucks is still writing. After writing, comes re-writing. But let's not worry about that. First, comes writing. Babies don't learn to walk without crawling first, and neither do writers write great without first pounding out a few limping lines, telling instead of showing, and stumbling over weak verbs. Writing is a refining process, one that doesn't hit perfection without a bit of heat (re-writing) applied.
Friends, even if the writing sucks, kudos to you for kicking it out. You had the discipline to keep your butt in the chair and your fingers on the keyboard. That is something noteworthy and worth praising. It means you pushed through, persevered, and said, "Boo!" to fear, slamming the door in his face.
So here I am, putting out writing; some good, some that sucks. But I'm okay with that because right now I'm too busy wiping off nasty spider webs and moving forward. This is war on fear, and I intend to win the war.