FEAR OF WRITING


Gabriel Garcia Marquez I will never be. Nor will I ever have the inventiveness of David Mitchell, the turn of prose of Edward St. Aubyn or Nabokov’s metaphors. The witticism of Evelyn Waugh will evermore escape me. Chances are I won’t even be able to come up with sex scenes  a la Jackie Collins (or those of “Shades of Grey” and if you don’t know what I am talking about it, get Google moving).

Like most “professional” readers with writing aspirations, I often fall into the trap of comparing myself to other and better, much better, writers. As if. I have always been in love with words – I pay attention to how words are strung together in a sentence, I admire the elegance of certain sequencing, I re-read passages just to absorb the smoothness of a metaphor or the ease of conveyance. Then I turn around and say, often aloud, I could never do this. Maybe, maybe not. It took me a long time to realize this is just another excuse, another wall to keep the fear at bay, another reason to justify not writing.

I never set out to become Jimmy Iovine when I started working in the music business or Alain Ducasse when I pursued professional cooking – neither titan of their profession stopped me from doing my best and having tons of fun in the process, thus creating a wealth of memories and expertise. So why would it be different with writing? Is it because of the enormous odds stacked against a writer, any writer? Is it because what I have to say might not be important enough? Ms. Collins certainly never cared. Or is it for fear that, with some detachment, I would never actually read, much less pay for, what I write?

English not being my first language plays a large part in my insecurities – Conrad I will not be either (also, my seafaring experience is fairly limited). It was Emma’s post of today that made me put black on white the fears I am reluctant to share with the world at large. Emma spent a good chunk of her time comparing herself to other bloggers: better, bigger, funnier.(To read Emma’s post, click here) Or are they? And even if they are, why voluntarily build another roadblock?

Whether we dwell on it or not, living a conscious life is what most people aspire to, once basic needs are met. If writing becomes a need, we should be grateful that satisfying it is just as easy as grabbing  pen and paper. It should be done for its sake and the rest will take care of itself. And even if it doesn’t, tell me, dear writer, is there a better feeling than hitting “save” at the end of a particularly good page?

 

 

 

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “FEAR OF WRITING

  1. I love this! Everyone has a fear, so don’t be afraid of that. I wrote this blog post yesterday, (http://chicklitgoddess.com/2012/04/10/be-your-own-writer/) and I thought I might share it with you. Go ahead and be your own writer! Good luck to you! 🙂

    • Thank you Isabella. I haven’t read any Danielle Steel in a very long time and you brought a smile to my lips remembering those paperbacks when I was all of 15 year old. I appreciate the encouragement and I hope to read your first novel soon

  2. I was just about to compliment you on your English (even before reading this post I mean, since I understood from another post that you’re not a 2nd generation Italian like I had assumed from the level of your English). I don’t know what you sound like of course, but you certainly write better English than most native speakers. Il tuo inglese è meglio del mio italiano.

  3. silvia

    My dear, dearest friend I have to tell that your first quality is the one I admire most and, in this case, it is the one I am sure will take you far: eventhough you are completely aware of your intelligence and talents every time you embark on a new adventure you face it with incredible humbleness, every day adding a brik to the building that you are shaping. You never try to cope with the Conrads or the Jimmy Iovines and this is your strentgh. Day after day like a little tiny ant you build up your life and draw it with all the colors of a wonderful rainbow. So keep up doing it – I know that now you could never give up writing – and amaze us once again

  4. Stefan, I should have known. Together with mastering Italian cooking you picked up Italian along the way…complimenti. And thank you for your comment. After 17 years in the US and 6 in England, English tends to flow more easily than my Italian. I also love the language from a grammatical point of view – guess it suits my brain – but, you know, hang ups are hang ups…

  5. Kim Robeson

    As always, beautifully stated. The best thing I ever did was quit my full-time job to write. I sent out my very first query today and it was daunting. I had my finger on the “send” button for a few minutes till I finally just did it! I am not sure how I feel. A carefully selected agent now has my manuscript…will she love it? Hate it? Will I even ever hear from her? It’s not an easy road if one wants to make money, but some have to make it, right? I hope we are the lucky ones…regardless, the process, for me, has been amazing. Nothing makes me happier than my husband’s laugh. And writing.

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