Seven years ago I began writing my first novel. Two years later I submitted it to 35 agents and received rejections across the board. I don’t blame them, deep down I never felt like I wrote what I had intended. At the end of last year I re-visited the original idea and began writing it again, from scratch. The difference, aside from a little more experience, was that this time I wrote as if no one was watching over my shoulder. Every time I have written anything in the past I have imagined what other people might think as I type and it has held me back. Rebellion was always a ‘safer’ novel, a ‘safer’ idea but I wonder now what I could have done with it had I not been afraid. I think Resistance will be the better for it.
So, I suppose what I’m trying to say is:
Or, that they’ll never read a word you write. You’ll then be more honest, be more true to your idea and you’ll have a better story for it.
I’ve had to tell my parents they can’t read More Than Human because, well, it’s crass. Obviously I can’t actually stop them from reading it but I can pretend they won’t even glance at it as I write and, when it’s out in the world, we can all pretend when we see each other that they haven’t read it. There is so much bliss in denial.
Don’t let fear stop you from writing what you want to say; listen to that voice hidden deep within and that feeling at your core, and be true to it. You’ll create better material for it and that’s why I believe More Than Human is going to be my best work yet.
3 thoughts on “What’s holding your writing back?”
I completely agree with you. Fear was the one of the biggest things I have had to overcome. Fear of rejection. Fear of someone really liking what I write, and fear of what others might think.
It’s taken me a long time to shake off the fear but now I write to do justice to my ideas and characters and it helps because I can forget about external factors.
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