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A Writer’s Manifesto: Overcoming Fear with Commitments

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7:30pm (Mon)

What do writers fear? For me, it’s the blank page. The longer I stare at its white expressionless face, the more intimidating it seems. I sometimes try to ease my anxiety by succumbing to the lure of distractions — Facebook, Korean YouTube videos, Amazon’s endless catalogue of YA books.  But these distractions create room for even more self-doubt.  What should I write about? Will it be as good as this book or that story?

Each day I tackle moments of indecision by beginning with one word. It’s amazing how one word opens up a world of infinite possibilities. I hope I’ll be even more brave this week by daring to revisit a manuscript that’s been fermenting in the recesses of my mind — the manuscript I’ve merely glanced at in the past few months.

All the great books we’ve read began with one word. Perhaps the inspiration came in the image of ginger-misted sunsets, a baby’s smile or the wet scent of rain. But the writer didn’t let it stop there. She or he or whoever it was choose to write — to capture the magic newly discovered. The writer choose to transcend the world of ideas and make those thoughts tangible in ink, paper and sweat.

I want to cement my ideas — eternally, irrevocably — by finally completing a children’s book that began as a novella four years ago. This week I’ll be revisiting the third draft. I’m committing to working on it 6 days a week, even if I can only spare 15 minutes some days. What’s important is that I work on it with more consistency. I want to immerse myself again in that River-Mumma, umbrella-flying world and discover the children I once knew.

It’s time to stop making excuses and become more self-motivated. So this week’s a new beginning, a blank page. Each day will be a new opportunity to rewrite my destiny. Each day will be mine to mold as I become the person I want to be. As the weeks go by, I’ll report on my progress as well so you’ll know exactly how I’m faring. I know that as I seek to be more consistent in my efforts, wonderful miracles will happen.

I hope you’ll bear with me and help me on the way by sharing what you’ve learnt in times of success and failure. What creative projects are you working on at the moment? Which projects have you completed in the past which make you most proud? I’m sure there are may things that I can learn from you so feel free to share your stories.

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5 thoughts on “A Writer’s Manifesto: Overcoming Fear with Commitments”

  1. Hmm, those are the two hardest things about being creative – starting and then being able to call it finished. Once the first word is down the rest will follow, but at what point can I actually show others? I’m working on a book. I’ve done 4 drafts and I should be done, but,.

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    1. Yeah, it’s a constant struggle. Until I can say it’s finished and also feel confident that it is, I’m always tweaking my work.

      How long have you been working on your book? I’ve heard of some writers who write more than 10 drafts. I’m hoping I won’t need to write that many but I’d much rather a long writing process than publishing something I don’t feel confident about. I had a nightmare about that a few months ago 🙂

      Just press forward my friend. They say the satisfaction of a completed book is well worth the sacrifice.

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  2. Ginger-misted sunset. How do you even DO that? My god, it’s like words dance on your fingertips.

    Good luck; I wish I had success stories to share.

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    1. Robyn, I have a confession to make. As my life-long editor, you flatter me too much.

      And of course you have success stories to share! You being modest. Don’t let me have to dish out your secrets on WordPress.

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      1. Haha, any successes wouldn’t be secrets m’dear. Maybe I flatter you too much. But that’s part of the job 🙂 (and goodness gracious, sometimes you do deserve it).

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