One of the first thing I was told when I took my video game design class was that everyone would think they could do my job because everyone has ideas. Most people don’t get what my job is and think that ideas are all there is to it.
Same thing goes for writing.
We would all like to think that having an idea is enough to write a book. Unfortunately, life isn’t so. Some people will push through and work their way up to completing a first story, be it a short or a novel manuscript. A portion of said people is going to hone their craft, rework their story and polish it. A few get published.
Some people say that the process is about perseverance; you have to keep trying after the umpteenth rejection. Some say you need modesty and, with it, the capacity not only to accept critic but to critic yourself.
I say that in order to complete a story, you also need to conquer your fears because writing is a scary thing.
We’re scared our idea isn’t good enough.
We’re scared our word choice isn’t the best.
We’re scared our sentences could be tighter.
We’re scared our story doesn’t make sense.
We’re scared our characters are cliché or bland.
We’re scared we’re using the same words too often.
We’re scared to cut off chapters we love but ruin the whole.
We’re scared to put our heart out there because we know it beats behind every line.
Writing is scary. It haunts our night and can drive us nuts. Ultimately, no matter how hard we try, we cannot disarm every writing-related fears we have. We must use them to hone our craft, rework our story and polish it without letting them cripple us.
Because when all is said and written, when our story is as good as we feel it can be, the only thing we can do is take a leap of faith and hit send.
And that guts, my friend, makes us writers.