Sometimes I’m Scared

I’m scared of a lot of things. The future, for one, seems quite frightening to me. I try to tell myself over and over again that things will work themselves out. But sometimes, it’s not quite enough. Sometimes I stay up late in a wild panic-driven workaholic mode, planning things out like a madwoman in an attempt to alleviate my fears. But other times, there is so much fear that I don’t even know where to begin. I feel like that now and it is hard even to find words to write down here.

I think I am scared of my writing. It is hard for me to read what I write and I think that it is because I am scared of what I will read. I think that sometimes, I write like I am scared of what I am writing. It is like I skirt around the story instead of sticking my head inside it. I don’t want to be scared of the stories in my head and I don’t want to be scared to feel things for the characters that have lives waiting to be put on paper.

I have a question. Or maybe a few. How do you know that what you write is good or bad? How do you know it was worth writing down? How do you know that it deserves to be read?

I should just stick to writing for myself.

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~ by thechanster on 12:35 am, Sunday, December 20, 2009.

2 Responses to “Sometimes I’m Scared”

  1. Interesting blog! You already have a more creative perspective in your writing than most other people I’ve read. The fact that you still worry about writing something bad is actually awesome, because it means that you’ll always be looking for ways to improve no matter how good you get.

    The fact that you’re letting this worry prevent you from writing is not awesome at all. In fact, it’s a great way to become an awful writer. Don’t fall into that trap. The only way you can seriously become a better writer is to write.

    Once you’re writing, then you can worry about the questions you have. What’s “good” is different for every author, because everyone decides on a different purpose in life. I like helping other people, so what I write is “good” if it helps other people get over problems in their lives. Other authors have more selfish purposes-they write to amuse themselves-but because they are interesting people, it is still fun to read what they’ve written.

    If you’ve figured out your purpose in writing, awesome! You’re still in college, so you are way ahead of most people. If not, be patient, since it can take a *long* time to figure it out.

    In the meantime, there are still all kinds of things which can benefit any writer, no matter what their purpose may be. Find a friend who cares about you becoming a writer (as opposed to someone who will just politely compliment your work) and write a short story for them every week. Ask for the most brutally honest truth, and don’t be surprised if they tear apart your first couple of stories. After those first painful few, however, you should already start to notice a substantial improvement in your writing. Hopefully, this improvement will motivate you to continue developing your writing while you think about what you want to achieve with it.

    In any case, best of luck on telling your stories! :) I will check back from time to time to see if you post any of them on this blog.

  2. Merry Christmas, Charlotte! Have you ever read “Art & Fear” by David Bayles? I just came across it a few days ago, and the first seven pages sound like they were written just for answering your questions. :) Stanford ought to have a copy somewhere; you’re also more than welcome to borrow mine. The previous poster’s advice sounds good, too! :)

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