What Say Ye: Fear

This edition of What Say Ye? has two parts!

First, what makes you afraid to write? I had a dream one night that some dude had an awesome idea for a book, but never wrote it because he was afraid he wouldn’t do justice to the story.* Which got me to thinking once I woke up–that is probably a major source of fear for writers. The other, I think, is just sucking in general. For me it’s a little bit of both. What about you?

Part two: what are you more afraid of, revisions or first drafts? Once again, it’s a toss-up for me. First drafts are scary because HOLYCRAPIT’SABLANKPAGESLASHSCREEN! But there’s also the knowledge that it’s going to be a first draft, so, by Anne Lamott’s rules, it will be cruddy. So that’s a freeing thought.

Then, with revisions you have something to work with and it’s fun to see things coming together, but it’s also scary because NOWITHASTOBEGOODORATLEASTIMPROVED!! And that’s intimidating. So, both are scary and also not scary for me.**

I took a poll with my Facebook writer friends and most said first drafts were scarier to them. So … what say ye? Eh? Ehhhhh?


*Yeah, my dreams are legit weird. Sometimes I’m not in them. Sometimes I’m someone else. Sometimes I change identities throughout the course of the dream. Sometimes I’m a man. Sometimes I’m a ham sandwich. Okay, not yet. But that would be awesome.

**Confused yet? Good.

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I write speculative fiction inspired by mythos from around the world, complex family dynamics, and my own experiences living with mental illness. After earning my BA in Linguistics from Brigham Young University in 2008, I received my MFA in Creative Writing from Converse College in 2012. I live in Denver, where my husband and I spend countless hours chasing our three young sons (and sometimes catching them!). I collect tarot decks, dye my hair mermaid colors, and procrastinate by decorating my home. My debut novel, Feathers Sharp as Knives, releases on May 2, 2023.

4 thoughts on “What Say Ye: Fear

  1. Love this post and how open you are about the fear… there is so much to fear about writing :-/

    Part one: That I’ll get to a point where I’ve poured all of this time and energy into my writing and find out that I’m not actually any good at it.

    Part two: Definitely revisions! Blank pages really don’t intimidate me, but trying to rework something is so mind-boggling sometimes and I rarely feel satisfied with the results.

  2. There’s definitely a part of me that wonders if I can do justice to what’s in my head. I can’t say either first drafts or revisions scare me per say. I have a harder time editing my own work, so it’s waiting for feedback on what did or didn’t work that’s a bit nail biting.

  3. I dreamed I was a old, large, rusty barge once. Woke up with the flu bug. Much to sick to think and much too afraid to ever write about it. Didn’t think anyone would understand. (Made perfect sense to me – rusty=painful joints, flu-bug symptoms…?..well, like I said, it made sense to me)

    I did write about bass fishing in college. It wasn’t scary at all, got an A on that assignment.

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