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Writer’s Phobia and Its Cure

“There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly: sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.”

Ernest Hemingway

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is the fear of long words. If you are a writer, you might have a few concerns of your own. How confident are you about sharing your latest work of fiction with your closest friend? That’s a frightening proposition, one that is part of every writer’s life.

 You cannot act in your social life with your writer’s persona. The strange ways one adheres to while writing is a sight to scare away the most familiar faces. So, let’s establish that not only are you afraid, but you have a tendency to intimidate others as well.

Writers are peculiar creatures when they wish to know how they are feeling they write. To understand your fear of words, you must also transfer your horrors onto a piece of paper. I am sure you would scribble something similar to the following statement

  1. Readers will look at me in light of my fictional work. (Don’t assume)
  2. I am afraid of not getting published.  (Millions of Publishers looking for writers or do it by yourself)
  3. I think my vocabulary is somewhat lacking. (Read more)
  4. Maybe my readers would find many grammar errors in my piece. (Edit and rewrite)
  5. People would find my idea irrelevant and bland. (Only if you do)
  6. It is not as impressive as any bestseller author. (Stop comparing)
  7. My Idea is old. (Scavenger hunt!)

The deeper you let yourself drown, the more you will be poached by the pitless abyss of fears. As a writer, you are an active thinker, don’t let your thoughts stray you from your path. You have read many books in your life, did you like all of them? Some of them were not great, in your opinion, but they are there, nevertheless. The personal views of individuals do not decide the fate of a book.

 J.K Rowling was turned down 12 times before getting published. Can you find a more appropriate example to shoo away your fears?

 Another common fear of neo-writers is that they are out of ideas. Every great story and every possible plot-twist has been taken away already by the successful published authors. Having fears is one thing but being lazy is another problem. If you are out of ideas, you need to hustle.

 It takes years for authors like Tolkein, Stephen King, Dan Brown, and R.R. Martin to just come up with a theme. Go out, distill the essence of libraries, absorb yourself in art, or reconnect with nature. Ideas are everywhere, and the world is waiting for you to decipher your version of it. Show the reader what your eyes see, learn to explain colors, smells, and sounds in words.

When you read a book, what do you want to find in it? You want to discover new opinions and unique perspectives. You want to enter into unknown dimensions, you want to ride the magic carpet, and you want to stroll on a distant planet.

 Do you think that every great writer comes up with this refined, appealing, sensationalizing story in the first draft?

 Of course not, you know better than that.  The first draft is just you, running over the heads of your fears madly as if being chased by an angry mob. If you stop in the middle, you will get trampled over. So, don’t stop not for breathing, not for eating, not for sleeping. Run with your words like a mad man or woman. These luxuries are for regular folks, i.e., the non-writers.

 Do you take advice from the expert writers? You should. The most significant writers of our times have written down their two cents in books for aspiring writers like you. Is there anything better than learning from the masters of the trade? All great writers have faced their fears and learn ways to conquer them. Ray Bradbury took a vow of poverty when entering the field of writing. He had a very successful writing career with several best-selling novels, films, and theater productions. 

His most prominent secret of success was coming to terms with his greatest fears. When he accepted the worst possible thing that could happen, he could concentrate on his work, which worked out pretty well.

 Read the biography of any great author. It is a tale of woe, filled with impossible circumstances and unfathomable troubles. Writers who dared to stand out and take the plunge became most well-known. They were not afraid of their strange ideas, but they continue to convey their thoughts to the common man. They faced many rejections and roadblocks, but they remained determined and kept walking in a straight line.

 Most writers are lost because they don’t even know where their line is. You are a writer; the most creative blessings of nature have been bestowed upon you. If you cannot see your line draw one. If your line is invisible, paint it in any color you like. You have the power to create your road as you go along.

 In the world that you can create with your words, there are no limitations. Your writing can take you to the faraway galaxies and into the depths of the deepest oceans. On paper, you make the laws, you are in charge, and you have complete control.

 The big bang is your idea, your characters are the life form that exists on the planet, and the storyline is the atmosphere where your thoughts live. The earth took years to become able to conceive life. Your work will also develop an ozone layer to deflect the harmful rays and make your stories live for eternity. Don’t rush into things. Create, Refine, and repeat.

 Being a writer comes with many challenges; this is not a professional manner to tell your parents about it unless you are already getting paid. The Kafkaesque state of a writer is a compliment, not a curse.

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