Not only are her blog posts consistently thoughtful and insightful, but her comments on the blogs of others are as well. She's quick to offer a word of encouragement where needed and a congratulations when due.
Please give her a big, warm welcome as she discusses finding the balance between the need to write and the fear of how others will receive what we wrote.
Writing: Balancing the Need and Fear
Sara P. Bowers
"I am consumed with the need to write and the fear of failure.
In short, I am a mess of words."
- Aspiring Author Nan Axelton
When I first read this I thought it a very apt description of a writer. But why is writing made up of two opposing sides? How can we be consumed with the urge to write, to share our words and stories, but at the same time be consumed with fear at their reception? As I pondered this contradiction that existed within our very souls I came to the conclusion that both the drive and the fear are necessary for success.
If we didn’t have an all consuming need to write, the fear, and difficulties of getting published, would keep us from trying. There was once a man on the writers’ website I frequent, who put up a post saying he had written four books, pounded out a query letter and couldn’t get anyone to read his work. He claimed that publishing was broken and unfair and that he was done. If they didn’t want to see his work he was going to stop trying. It was heartbreaking to see another writer give up on his goal, but at the same time I thought “He just doesn’t want it enough”. That drive is what keeps us going during the difficult times. While sometimes it seems a curse, especially when life gets in the way and we go a little crazy from being unable to write, it’s what keeps us going, keeps us moving forward. We may go to sleep devastated at having to give up a manuscript we adored and the next morning we wake up with a shiny new idea.
But what about the fear? Why is that necessary? Well, without the fear we wouldn’t ever improve. I’m sure most of you have met, or at least heard of, writers that thought their writing was the epitome of literature. They put their stuff up, not for critique, but for praise, and if anyone dares offer a suggestion they come back with excuses, explanations and possibly putdowns. But these people never progress. They never believe there is room for improvement so they don’t. Fear of failure, fear of not being good enough keeps us listening to our beta readers. It keeps us reading books on craft, attending conferences and striving to improve. So really we should thank our fear. Or not, you know, whatever.
We must balance our two sides. Too much fear keeps us from writing and too much drive without fear keeps us from learning. As writers we may be a mess of words, but if we keep our drive and our fear balanced we just may be a successful mess.
About Sara Bowers:
|Sara Bowers is Awesome!|
Visit Sara's awesome blog at: S. P. Bowers: It's just me.