Christopher Moore Home Page

The bulletin board is currently closed to new posts. Instead, why not check out Chris' Twitter and Facebook pages?


bbs.chrismoore.com Forum Index -> So You Wanna Be a Writer?

A paralyzing fear of success?

  Author    Thread This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics. This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.
yangnome



Joined: 04 Dec 2007
Posts: 30
Location: Monterey, CA
A paralyzing fear of success?  Reply with quote  

A paralyzing fear of success. I guess that’s what it is. Or maybe it’s a fear of failure. Same thing I guess. At any rate it is giving me a horrible case of writer's block. This isn’t the first time its happened to me. Shortly after I wrote my first manuscript, I took it to a local writers’ conference and had an agent express a lot of interest in the book. He asked for a full exclusive look. I agreed, but never sent it in to him. I think at the time I was afraid to go back and look at my work with a critical eye. The agent had paid me compliments on my talent and I didn’t want that destroyed. I was afraid that pulling out one card would collapse the whole house of cards.

Fast forward to now. I’ve written a few manuscripts and haven’t really done much with them. I’ve found my voice and my niche. Objectively, I’d say each of my manuscripts has something to offer and each could be marketable given some effort in polishing them. Up until recently, I hadn’t really done anything to try to pursue publication with them though. Until this summer.

This summer, I decided I wanted to take another step in my writing. I used some money I got for writing a screenplay earlier in the year and went to a writers' workshop. I took my most recent project with me, a near completed rough draft that needs a full rewrite. While there, I was able to gain perspective of what I’ve learned over the last few years, which gave me some confidence in my abilities. At the start of the ten days, I felt some block, but midway through the workshop, I was able to break through and make some progress. I was able to recognize the fears I’d had in the past and set them aside. I was able to focus on my writing and identify what had slipped me up before. I thought I was out of the woods. I thought I had identified my problems I talked about in the first paragraph. All was good until the end of the retreat when I met with a fairly high profile agent.

The meeting with the agent went well. It went very well, in fact. I approached the session with the presumption up front that I needed another rewrite. Still, we sat and talked about my project. He read some pages. He offered some advice on a few things to focus on during the rewrite and also offered what I considered to be some very high praise. At the end of our session, he told me to call him and let him be the first to read it once I finished. I’m not a seasoned professional, but in my research about agents, I’ve learned that’s a pretty good fucking sign, yes?

So, why the fuck is it that I’ve been home a month and can’t work on my damn project? Given the positive feedback I’ve received from both him and others, you’d think I’d be pounding away day and night at the keyboard, drooling like one of Pavlov’s dogs. The problem is I’m not. When I’m at the keyboard, I find other stuff to distract myself, or avoid my computer all together. When I sit down and try to force myself to write, I’m overwhelmed with anxiety.

Anyone ever experience something similar? What did you do to get over it?
_________________
metaphors be with you

Post Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:49 am   View user's profile Send private message
zendao42



Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 13570
Location: Somewhere in a galaxy near you
 Reply with quote  

My current problem is that I have an epic idea that I don't think I can do justice-
Ursula LeGuin could kick ass with it but it's really not something I ever saw myself writing about...

Upshot is, I haven't done anything with it yet...

Post Sun Oct 11, 2009 9:54 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
mxlemore



Joined: 18 Sep 2008
Posts: 44
Location: Georgia
 Reply with quote  

Wow, yangnome, I'm utterly jealous. You've received an expressed interest by two agents already! Hell, I have yet to make contact with any agents.

Just from what I've read, it sounds like there is some deep-rooted fear within you that your work will be ridiculed by someone that reads it. If you've already gotten the attention of 2 agents, I would encourage you to hold your nose and take the plunge. Fix your ms and let some trusted friends read it and give you some feedback and then send it out! I understand the fear of what the critics will say, but damn, even Stephen King gets slammed on his books.

You can please some of the people some of the time, but you'll never be able to please all of the people all of the time. I'm sure you'll win over many fans with your writing. Of course, you'll have nay-sayers out there who will think it sucks, but I say fuck them! Go for it and good luck to you!
_________________
My website: http://www.jrmclemore.com

Hush, Hush, My Love is now available for Kindle, Nook, and other formats from Smashwords for free! You can view it here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/50564

Post Thu Oct 15, 2009 7:42 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
chris
Site Admin


Joined: 02 Mar 2004
Posts: 3833
Location: People Republic of Northern California
 Reply with quote  

You're probably not cut out to be a writer and should just give up.

Post Thu Oct 15, 2009 3:17 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
chris
Site Admin


Joined: 02 Mar 2004
Posts: 3833
Location: People Republic of Northern California
 Reply with quote  

Oh, or there's also the chance that you could be a professional, in which case sit down and do your fucking work, which is what professionals do. Plumbers don't get plumbers block. Do your fucking work.

Here, I'll take the pressure off. You're not that good. You don't have to be that good. But you have to do your work.

Now do your fucking work.

Post Thu Oct 15, 2009 3:26 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
lisa



Joined: 10 Apr 2004
Posts: 6789
 Reply with quote  

chris wrote:
Oh, or there's also the chance that you could be a professional, in which case sit down and do your fucking work, which is what professionals do. Plumbers don't get plumbers block. Do your fucking work.

Here, I'll take the pressure off. You're not that good. You don't have to be that good. But you have to do your work.

Now do your fucking work.


Ah! Music. Sheer music.
_________________
Your religion, you miserable man, begins in your stomach and ends in a lavatory - Nodar Dumbadze

Post Thu Oct 15, 2009 7:37 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
yangnome



Joined: 04 Dec 2007
Posts: 30
Location: Monterey, CA
 Reply with quote  

chris wrote:
Oh, or there's also the chance that you could be a professional, in which case sit down and do your fucking work, which is what professionals do. Plumbers don't get plumbers block. Do your fucking work.

Here, I'll take the pressure off. You're not that good. You don't have to be that good. But you have to do your work.

Now do your fucking work.


Yes, this. Or something to that effect. I found that the cure to writers block was posting a fucking whiny ass post on a message board. Right after doing it, I groaned at my weak ass self pity and felt like I could write again. Thanks for telling me to pull my head out of my ass though. By the way, Les Edgerton said hi. He said if you don't remember his name, he's the bald dumb-fuck who used Love Nun as an example in his book on writing openings.
_________________
metaphors be with you

Post Thu Oct 15, 2009 8:52 pm   View user's profile Send private message
Taco Bob



Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 1201
Location: Palm Falls, Florida
 Reply with quote  

Damn, wish I had your problems. Confused

Post Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:51 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
sugarraydodge



Joined: 27 Nov 2007
Posts: 647
Location: Utah
 Reply with quote  

chris wrote:
Oh, or there's also the chance that you could be a professional, in which case sit down and do your fucking work, which is what professionals do. Plumbers don't get plumbers block. Do your fucking work.

Here, I'll take the pressure off. You're not that good. You don't have to be that good. But you have to do your work.

Now do your fucking work.


That's awesome.
_________________
Scruffy|SRD Books

Post Sat Oct 17, 2009 7:46 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
yangnome



Joined: 04 Dec 2007
Posts: 30
Location: Monterey, CA
 Reply with quote  

So, last night I finished the rewrite of this project. It was a long, difficult process, but I'm really stoked with the results. I'm glad I put the work in. Thanks for the kick in the pants, AG. Now I need to let it sit for a bit and hit the edits.
_________________
metaphors be with you

Post Mon Nov 08, 2010 7:59 pm   View user's profile Send private message
  Display posts from previous:      
This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics. This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.

Jump to:  


Last Thread | Next Thread  >

Forum Rules:
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

 
Templates created by Vereor and Ken