What Scares Me As A Writer?
From Globe and Mail Arts – Saturday April 9, 2016 – The Book Report: Yasuko Thanh.
What scares you as a writer?
Lack of resources and time. The ability to have both in necessary measure eludes most artists: You pay for one with the other. Everything is a sacrifice. If you want your family to eat, you pay with writing hours.
Never were truer words ever spoken. When it comes to writing, it’s always a balancing act. Each day I have to decide what’s going to get the lion’s share of my attention. Will it be my family, personal obligations, my writing, that appointment? And every day will be different. It’s a constant struggle to keep all the balls moving without dropping any – and I’ve dropped plenty.
But that’s only one aspect of being a writer that’s scary for me. I’ve read, that to be a writer, it’s necessary to allow yourself to be vulnerable. The very act of putting pen to paper makes me vulnerable. But to expose myself week after week on my blog is not any easy task. I do it in the hope that it will help someone else. But at what cost to myself? Do people think I’m weak? Does anyone even care? Suppose someone has something negative to say about my struggles with writing, anxiety, fear, family, being a woman, books, etc.? As a sensitive person, that would be difficult to handle. Then of course, there’s the worry about what people will say about my book once it’s published. Do you have any idea how difficult it was for me to finally let River of the Stick Wavers go and let someone else read it? Let me tell you, I was a nervous wreck. It wasn’t until a friend reminded me that all I could do was the best I can at this moment in time, and that would be enough, before I was able to put it all into perspective. Now I have to worry about the critics, and my audience — well, you get the picture.
But wait, that’s not the whole picture. Writing is often a difficult journey. There are days when nothing comes. Right now for example, while I’m waiting for the layouts of my novel from Friesenpress, I’m trying to figure out what to work on next. Should I work on my book presentation, a mentoring project, my next speech for Toastmasters, a post, or my next novel? Many of these require research. So, each day, I must ask myself, “What will it be today?” and hope that I come up with an answer that doesn’t pull me in too many directions. Nowadays, I’m feeling unfocused, missing the act of writing, and asking myself if I have any idea if I know what the hell I’m doing?
So what keeps me writing? The honest truth is, when I’m not writing, I’m miserable. How can this be, you may ask, when you’re scared all the time about one thing or another? You already sound pretty miserable. What can I say? When the writing’s going well, it feels wonderful. When I feel that creative connection to the divine I’m connected to something greater than myself. And when I’ve completed a book, and go back and read it, I’m amazed. Did I write that? Where did it come from? During the act of writing I learn so much about myself. I know that I’m doing what I was put here on Earth to do.
I read over an earlier post called Why I Write and my final response was that if through my writing I am able to help someone else, then it was all worth it — or something to that effect. But that’s not all. I write to experience divine connection, to help others, to be creative, and to live out my life purpose. It is the only thing I do that the level of difficulty does not deter me from my final goal, and that’s not just “enough”, it’s everything.
Related Post: Why I Write – Feb 17, 2014