Writer’s Block – Thy Name Is Fear

As I am rapidly approaching the end of the manuscript for Hunted I find that I am experiencing more and more bouts of writer’s block, and can’t help wondering if any other writers struggle with the same problem, and what it is that drives us all to be so damn afraid.

For me, and I’m going to assume for many other writers out there too, writing has been a lifelong dream that I’ve just begun to imagine could become a reality. I’ve spent years working what we all refer to as our “day jobs,” slogging along in the monotony, all the while dreaming of the day when I could cast it aside and focus on writing full time. I’m not there yet, not even close, but with the last words of Hunted looming on the horizon it’s more of a possibility than a dream than it ever has been before. And that scares the pants off me.

Insecurity has played a large part in my life, it is what originally drove me to seek the comfort of books as a child – if the other kids didn’t want to play with me, well that was just fine, I’d go read a book instead. It also encouraged me to have a vivid and creative imagination, the myriad fantasy worlds I could create in my own head were a hell of a lot more exciting than the real one where I was lonely and often bullied. That insecurity and feeling of being apart from others followed me into adulthood, and while I’d like to think that I’ve come out of my shell, and am considerably more socially adept than I ever was as a kid, I still have that vicious little voice in the back of my mind telling me that whatever I do will never be good enough. That voice is such a bitch.

I think it’s high time that I told that voice to piss off, and the easiest way to do that is to prove it wrong.

Easier said than done, but still easier than simply giving up and locking away my dream. My passion for writing and desire to be an author is as much a part of who I am as my hair color, my addiction to Mountain Dew and the fact that I snort when I laugh (it’s embarrassing, but funny as hell). Giving up on writing would be like cutting off a limb – I’d never feel whole again. So, I’ve decided that I’m going to say a big F-you to writer’s block and keep on trucking. It’s hard, and it sucks, and I feel like most of the words I’m conjuring up are utter crap, but all that matters is that I’m still putting them down on paper, that I haven’t given up. Hopefully when I emerge on the other side I’ll discover that I actually crafted some pretty decent stuff, but even if I don’t at least I can be happy that I worked through it and can get back to the good stuff. Either way a crappy writer is still a writer; a writer who’s given up is just a dreamer.

My days of dreaming are over.

Almost at the end

So I’m almost done writing ‘Hunted’, the first book in the Riley Cray series. The end is so close that I can almost taste it. It’s like a faint, flickering light on the horizon – visible but just out of reach. And as expected the almost-at-the-end-writers-block has set in. My ever supportive and patient fiance, Mr. Awesome Sauce, says its not so much writers block as fear masquerading as writers block. And he’s probably right.

Writing a book is a true labor of love. It can take weeks, months, sometimes even years, to complete. It can cause us to alienate our friends and family as we devote every free waking moment to writing, and tends to make us more than a little bat shit at times. For me, writing is the easy part, it’s finishing that is the challenge. Penning those last few words, and then finally having to expose my little word baby to the eyes of others scares the pants off me. Freddy Kruger ain’t got nothing on the panic and fear that sets in when you deliver your word baby into the hands of someone else. Will they like it? Will they hate it? Should you give up this dream and stick with your day job even if the monotony of it makes you want to carve out your own eyes with a rusty spork?

I’m not entirely sure which one scares me more – failure or success. Failure means giving up on a dream that I’ve had for over twenty years, while success means actually pursuing said dream and possibly one day being able to give up my day job. Both are on the same level of scariness as falling into a pit filled with spiders and snakes. So what do I do? I do what Mr. Awesome Sauce always tells me to do – just write. Write until there are no more words, until there is no more story to tell.

So here I go, just writing…