I’m about to start writing a new chapter, and that means pushing through the inevitable pre-writing panic. I have an outline and a (vague) sense of where this chapter is going, but the first step always frightens me a little. Perhaps many/most/all writers experience the same kind of anxiety, but believing that doesn’t make it any more pleasant for me. But why do I experience such fear? What scares me, exactly? I’ve come up with two ideas:
- That I won’t be able to write anything. This has happened before and will probably happen again. But I’ve always managed to push through. By acknowledging the probable appearance of writer’s block, perhaps I’ll be better prepared to not panic and keep working my way through it.
- That I will write crap. This will most definitely happen. After all, I’m writing the first draft, which, as I’ve discussed before, is inevitably crap. But it’s a start, and I will go back and re-write and re-write again. Again, if I just accept the inevitability of crap and know that I will revise that crap later on, maybe I won’t get scared away from starting to write.
My advice to myself, in short: combine acceptance of my slow production of crap with the knowledge that I have got through it before and will revise it again. Presto: writer’s block solved.
Now, how exactly will I begin this chapter…