Writing and fear

To those who might have been expecting a roundup of events leading up to the launch of Stones in the Road and the evening itself, I apologise. I had hoped to have a post ready by now, but have so far been unable to collate all of the content from the evening. Instead…

This post has been at the back of my mind for some time, but with everything that has taken place recently with regard to Stones in the Road, I ended up shelving it. In any case, I do not believe that there is any merit or benefit to publishing posts before they are completely ready. It has taken me long enough to be able to articulate these thoughts.
In my experience, we writers tend to present ourselves as confident people, regardless of whether that is actually the case. I am certainly endeavouring to do so to a greater extent now I have a book under my belt. This leaves little room for us to discuss our fears surrounding the craft and our practice. I can scarcely believe that it has taken me so long to realise this.
We develop routines which do not allow us the luxury of stopping to think about our craft but very briefly. We might pause to ponder the next word, or allow a finger to hover over the delete key on the last sentence, but truthfully there is little analysis to what we do for ourselves.
Personally, I used to write in order to run…far away from thoughts and feelings which might have threatened to engulf me. Paradoxically, I appear to have built a shrine to them in Stones in the Road. This leads me to the revelation of my biggest fear as a writer. Now I am finally feeling human again, after seven years of recovery from loss, I find myself in awe of the fact that I can still write. I used to feel that if I ‘recovered’ from the pain of those bereavements, I would be left with less to write about. In fact, the opposite seems to have held true.
No longer feeling the compulsion to write about myself has opened doors that I had previously thought forever closed. I am not relentlessly driven to document my own life in order to prove, selfishly, that I still exist. Instead, at last, the story I tell is not exclusively my own in a punitive, masochistic way.
Not writing about myself has thrown the windows and doors wide open, and allowed me to embrace a level of possibility to which I had not previously been party. As long as it is fed, this particular well cannot run dry. Perspectives other than my own are finally becoming intriguing again. Writing is much less fun when we close off to possibility.

As writers, and inspirational writers in particular, we are in the business of supplying hope to others, but first and foremost to ourselves. Finding and cultivating hope within ourselves leads to a flow of boundless grace.

What are your fears about writing? Do you fear being discovered, owning your craft…something else? Let’s talk in the comments


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