The Fear of Writing


sometimes, i am afraid to write. maybe it’s because i’ve had a past of cringy fan fictions. and because of that, i decided to improve my writing skills by doing research on how to write. i poured over books and scoured the internet, allowing myself to soak up all newly acquired knowledge. yet instead of motivating me to write, my discoveries did the opposite. i trapped myself with standards and rules that i read about; perfect formulas and the desire to be perfect on the first try made writing a task, a chore. because i couldn’t do it. i couldn’t write “right.”

writing blog posts and poems are easier than full-blown novels. on one hand, there’s less words, so revising and editing is easier. on the other, they’re less complex than novels. so it’s almost less work, if that makes sense. not to say blog posts and poems require less effort, but there is a familiar daunting feeling when you decide to sit down on a windy tuesday afternoon and think, okay, i’m going to write 50,000 words with multiple, complicated characters, a hot male protagonist and a sassy female protagonist*, two subplots, a lot of symbolism and foreshadowing—and the beginning. right. i have to write the beginning. with the hook and running action and stuff. i’m going to f—NO YOU’RE NOT. POSITIVE THINKING. you can do this. you can. remember: DON’T BE BORING. and don’t mess up either. 

but not yet. no, the beginning comes later. first comes the planning: all the glorious little details. 🙂

it’s been about two years (?) since i’ve written a novel. i do miss writing about complicated and flawed people. i miss writing about life: the good, the bad, the bittersweet. i miss imagination. i miss creating characters from nothing but a seed of an idea. it’s a long and tiring process, but writing, when done properly, is fun.

yes, fear holds me back, not just the fear of writing, but the opinions of others on what i write.

i believe there should be a distinction between a person and what they write. for example, if someone wants to write a YA book, it must be realistic to a certain extent. and for all the teenagers out there, we know the amount of cursing we hear in our every lives. so although the writer may be against profanity, he or she would be pressured to include cursing to have realistic dialogue/monologue. but at the same time, shouldn’t one’s writing be a reflection of who that person is? writing is art, and art is a born from one’s soul. therefore, if a writer wishes not to include profanity because of one’s personal beliefs and values, then he or she has the right not to. it’s confusing and debatable. i’m still trying to figure it out myself. so.

despite all, i may begin to write again. i’m not sure, but it would be fun to. at least i hope so. it takes courage to jump, not knowing if the ground will still be there when you land. but i suppose that’s what life is all about: the uncertainty mingled with the possibilities.

* on a side note, no, not all books feature a hot love interest and a sassy girl. that would be boring and is even considered cliché. a tip to young writers: write about real people, meaning create characters not only with likeable traits, but also with flaws. flaws are good. flaws are interesting. flaws are what makes paper dolls living beings.

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