Behind “The Process”: Why Is Writing Scary?

Seriously. It’s a valid question. Writing is scary. Ok–starting writing is scary. That’s the focus here: getting started. Even if you like writing, and have been doing it for awhile, getting started is scary. Truth be told, I’m writing this because I’m putting off working on a story. It’s on a legal pad right next to the computer here. It’s a good one…so far. (Work in progress.)

But why? WHY?!?!

Why is it hard to start writing?

For help, I consulted my friend Google. It told me that people usually procrastinate tasks they’re worried of failing at. (Or something to that effect.)

I guess that’s it, really. Wouldn’t you say? Why else would I put off doing something that brings me joy. Maybe I haven’t thought about where the joy is coming from. As nice as it was to finish my book, the joy isn’t in having completed a project. It was doing it. That’s why I want to do it again. That’d be a lot of hours of no fun at all if I were working solely for the purpose of finishing. I have to get past the mental hurdle of worrying about what might happen, or not happen. I mean, c’mon–am I just going to forget how to write?

Probably not.

In the end, I think it’s important to acknowledge that anxiety, the what-if-I-don’t-do-it-good-enough? mentality. That’s when you have to go back to the basics and…




The first thing you write down is rarely what makes it to the final draft. Each revision, edit, cut, little addition–it all adds up. Don’t even worry if the writing feels good or doesn’t while you’re doing it. Neil Gaiman said (and this is not a direct quote): You’ll have days you’re inspired to write and days you aren’t. But when you go back and look at the finished product, you won’t be able to tell what was inspired and what wasn’t.

What did we learn today?

  • It can be scary to get your ass to the computer, notebook, or whatever to write sometimes.
  • It’s OK that it’s scary. You’re worried because you care. Because you care, it’ll be alright.
  • Acknowledge the fear. Talk yourself through it.
  • Trust the process.
  • Have fun.

That’s all friends. Take care of yourselves.


Thanks for reading!

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