Why do we build so many obstacles to our creativity? Why do we let inner barriers grow and stop us from writing? We listen to our Bully Voice, we let fear win. Then we avoid writing. So often being with other writers helps us to break through the negative voice that lives inside us. Simply being with like-minded creatives helps us to believe that we are writers. We only have to write.
When away on retreat every voice, every writer’s voice, touches me. But this year one voice made me cry. In this Blog, writer Nancy Storie shares with us the story of how she broke free from her fear of writing. Here Nancy tells us how she has always dreamed of writing. How she has bought every book ever published on how to write, yet she has dreaded actually putting pen to paper. From a small farm in Texas, is a big new voice.
They have no idea how brave I believe them to be – nor how much I feel like a poser among them. Some suspect by this point. I see the bubble over their heads – why is she here? Does she write or just talk about writing?
Well no, I don’t talk about writing. Hardly ever speak the word – writer. I am not at a writing retreat, I am on vacation in Italy and just happened to be at the same agritourism where a writing retreat was taking place. You will not find writer on my fb page. The word alone, whispered in the night, can almost send me into respiratory arrest. It is permissible today to have fears and voice them so I didn’t want the writing world to be left out. I have adopted it as the object of my fear.
I am an equal opportunity fearist. I fear not writing well, I fear not writing at all, I fear someone reading my writing. I fear not being in control. I fear feeling stupid.
I have dreamed of being a writer and I have made great success out of researching How to Write. If you want to know who’s written a book on writing, I can tell you. In order to avoid taking any of their wisdom and actually applying it, I then read these writers novels to see if I believe they can really write. Or if their writing career stalled and they wrote about writing to keep the publication deal alive. And yes, I read the novels of writers who put on workshops before I sign up for the workshop. Sometimes, I have to read more than one work, just in case the first one was a fluke of success and the second or third one is a bomb.
I now have so many books from my research on how to write, and samples of the writing of those I have researched, that I had to buy a special cabinet to store them in. The Writer’s Cabinet otherwise known as the “Vault of Knowledge Not Yet Applied.” I might mention that in addition to all the research on how to write and the samples of how to write, I also own a new pc, a new smartphone, a new tablet and a nifty wireless keyboard, all to assist in the writing that I am afraid to do.
FEAR, my four letter word, has paralyzed my ability to put pen to page or fingers to keyboard. It has stalked me for years, moving to each new place I went, intruding on my solitude, haunting my sleep and robbing me of peace. It followed me to Tuscany.
“Leave me be, I’m on vacation.”
“No you’re not, you are trying to write.”
“OK, I am, but this time is different. I have found a tribe of amazing women who have struggled with you too. These courageous women have silenced your hissing voice, defied your doubt throwing insults and ignored your multitude of distractions. They write. In spite of you.”
“Ahhh, yes, but I’ll be back to visit you some day.”
“Probably, but we will be waiting. And we have found Courage, which beats fear every time.”
Do you love writing? Would you like to join The Art of Writing team in Tuscany? Let’s dream, plot, write, learn and grow as writers for a week together. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can tell you more about our annual creative writing retreats.