Help! My Story is Stuck in My Head!!!

I may be a new writer, but I've taught creative writing and worked as an editor for over thirteen years, I know a lot about getting the story from head to paper or screen. My students and writers who struggled with getting the story from concept to reality usually were struggling with fear more than the act of writing itself.

How does fear keep a person from scribbling down words on a piece of paper? It's rather easy, really.  Once the words are no longer in the sanctuary of the mind, other people have access to what is going on in the writers' private thoughts. With access, comes the opportunity to judge, ridicule, and reject.  Writing is a personal craft; it's like an extension of the writer.  Words become arms, legs... the heart of the person who is brave enough to share them with the world.  Who in the hell wants to offer their body to the masses to be judged and torn a part?  It's hard!

How do we overcome the fear?  I would be such a hypocrite if I said I knew exactly how to get over it, but I can tell you how I'm getting over it.  Yes, I said, "getting over it." I'm a writer who has not published my first novel yet, but it's set for release this August and I'm scared out of my mind about the reaction and/or response it will receive.  However, I am more afraid of not publishing my work than I am of any negative responses or reviews it may receive.

To Overcome Fear, a Writer Must Be C.H.O.P.

Confident in your ability to tell a story that people will relate to.  As a writer, we have to believe in our abilities and trust in the gift we have.  A confident writer can accept themselves and their writing for what it is and what it isn't knowing that growth and maturity is always an option.
Humble when preparing to share your work, even if you're the only one who will see it. We live in a time when everyone is expected to be great, but when everyone is great...then no one is truly great. Writers need to give themselves room to grow and learn.  If the first draft is perfect, there is no need for edits, revisions, rewrites... second, third, fourth drafts.  The process of writing keeps us humble and humility is power.
Open to criticism, failure, and most importantly; be open to the opportunities to learn and grow. Mistakes and failures or only negatives when we choose to ignore the lessons and potential for growth the experiences provide.  An open mind and spirit are able to adapt and change according to the environment, maintaining relevance and presence in the landscape of writing. Stay open to the possibilities as they are presented to you and be ready.
Persistent in your writing.  Writing is a skill, a craft. Like any skill or craft, one can only become better when one is persistent in their practice and the attainment of knowledge of said skill or craft. Writers must be persistent in the pursuit of critical and constructive feedback, which allows for improvement and opportunities to collaborate and grow your writing circle.

It's still scary as hell to put what's in my head out into the world where others may and will probably see the thoughts slithering through the dark recesses of my wicked mind, but you only live once and all that... so YOLO!

Ask yourself two questions:

  1. Do I want to have any regrets about my writing when I'm laying on my death bed?
  2. Did I do everything in my power to share the gift of writing with everyone I could?
Well, that's how I getting over my fear and through the struggle of getting started.  Like I said I'm scared out of my mind, but I'm also confident, humble, open, and persistent.  

Keep writing and stay Enchanted.

Ella 🙏


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