Monday, March 5, 2012

The Gate of Fear: Overcoming Our Limits (MyNoWriMo Day 4)

Total is 14230, so about 2k words this morning... no time to update the bar. :) Will update this evening.


There is one thing above all else that stops us, as writers, from reaching our potential.


There are other things, too. We all feel the constraint of time. We all feel the limits of our own talents and abilities, for we are all imperfect and we are all weak, to some degree. We all have boundaries to our knowledge and skills.

We can change some of these things, for example, we can gain more knowledge and skill. But the boundaries of knowledge and skill can only be changed with careful study and long practice. We have very little control over other things, for example, TIME, and the things that we must do with our time. Trust me, if I could find a way to shave faster without fileting my face, I would. :P And oh, the things I would write if only I didn't have to sleep!

We gots limits, friends. Every last one of us. That's okay. We're human.

But we, the writers, do not have to let ourselves be limited by our fears. :) We, the writers, are free to go as far as we can.

Whatever stopped me from writing like I meant it before? Fear. That's all. Fear.

Time? No. That's bogus. There has always been time. Even if it's fifteen minutes here, ten there. Before this month, I filled my time with other things. But I can put those things down.

Weakness? Yeah, I'm human. I still misspell 'weird' every other time, and I can't write a synopsis to save my life. My structure is loose, and my characters have a tendency to sound like me trying to imitate someone else. But I can rewrite.

Ignorance? Oh boy yeah. Sometimes I scare myself with how much I don't know. But I can learn.

So... the only thing left, really, is fear.

Fear of failing.
Fear of missing out on something else.
Fear of not writing a very good book.
Fear of being laughed at.
Fear of being alone with myself and a half-finished document that I know will never be good.
Fear of not being published, of never making it.
Fear of people finding out that I actually want to make a career out of it... because, let's face it, declaring to people that you are a writer is like declaring to people that you've started a boy band in your grandmother's basement.

Stupid, sorry, irrational fear.

But then I decided to do a MyNoWriMo. I approached the gate of fear, ready to climb it or bash it down... and found it to be unlocked.

I think that many times when we are willing to approach the gate of fear (and we must do it again and again and again) we will find it unlocked.

For the last 48 hours I've been pondering things concerning this personal Novel Writing Month. Because of prior fears and other things, I didn't know what I was capable of. Now, a few days in, 50,000 words isn't scaring me any more; I know that I can do it. It's lost some of the excitement.

The novel, on the other hand, is coming together better than I thought it would. (A few days ago I predicted it would crash and burn at around the 12k mark, but to my continuing surprise, it hasn't.) I finally figured out something that was key to the whole book, and I'm discovering my characters, and it's getting more and more exciting to write, and every day I'm thrilled to come back to work on my novel. I haven't been this happy in writing for years.

So... I'm raising my sights. I'm going to aim for 100,000 words for the month of March. 100k is much scarier than 50k... and thus, more exciting. I've never written anything that long before, ever. :) It's something I could fail at.

But where is the fun if I can't fail?

Even if I did fail... the only thing that would stop me from trying is fear. How pathetic would that be, to fail before I even tried?

I'm done giving up to fear. If I fail, it will be because of something else. And that's okay. Failing is part of the game.

The plan is set. The math works out. And... one hundred thousand words is possible, given my current strengths, weaknesses, time limitations, and willingness to sacrifice. I'm going to do it.

:) It should be a great learning experience.

What are some things that you're scared of, that you've overcome?

What's your advice on overcoming fear?

daily ending word count: 5152
total word count:  17330

Last line for the day:

Quickly he erased his dreaming from the blackboard; there wasn't time for such things. He needed to gain the upper hand and soon, or there would be no chance of avoiding the iron and the fire.


  1. Way to go Joseph! You're doing awesome. You're way ahead of schedule. You are totally going to do this!

  2. You are doing great! I can't imagine having a goal like that. Of course, a blog post with more than 500 words is a daunting task for me, so what do I know. The sentences you have written for us so far so interesting. I would love to read the story when it is done... I have no idea what kind of proof reader I am but just saying. :)