Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Is fear holding you back?

Stephanie here. I've lost track of how many times I've read Stephen King's On Writing since my parents gave it to me for Christmas my senior year of high school, but I'm currently reading it again. When I learned that Stephen King reads the audio book, that was all the motivation I needed to grab a copy and load it on my iPod.

This time around, in the grammar section where King theorizes on why writers are drawn to adverbs, he said something that struck me. "I'm convinced that fear is at the root of most bad writing."

His point was that when we write things like, "He closed the door firmly," we do so because we're afraid we haven't set the scene up well enough for it to blossom in the reader's mind without that word "firmly." We're afraid we aren't doing our job well enough.

But I think it's also true in other aspects of writing. Like when I pick a plot line that feels safer than the one that first excited me. Or when I want to talk about an issue ... but I think some readers might disapprove of it, might even give me a bad review on Amazon.

Today I challenge youand meto write without fear. 


  1. Such a bummer my library won't get On Writing. It sounds amazing. :) One of these days I need to up and buy it for myself.

    Thanks for this quote! I'm ashamed to say I, too, have picked the "safer" route at times. I think it's time for me to reread Frost's "The Road Not Taken". I love that poem and it's so inspiring. :)

  2. This is so true! When I started writing years ago, I think fear kept me from writing stories with a lot of conflict, and from writing lengthy descriptions. Also, I was uncomfortable writing about the MC's thoughts and feelings, which really stunted my writing. I have no idea why. It wasn't like anyone ever read those books. I got over those first fears and found my voice, but I suspect that now, as I try to find the right plotline for Transform, I'm still afraid to make the big changes in my story.

    I think there's a J K. Rowling quote that applies here. ' The only thing to fear is fear itself', if I remember correctly? One of Dumbledore's many words of wisdom.

  3. Thank you! I need to be more decisive in my writing for sure, and this motivates me to do so this summer. (-:

  4. Wow. That is really powerful. Thank you for sharing!