Monday, February 24, 2014

Fear of Perfection - Writer's Block

There are many different types of writer's block that one can encounter over a long period of time. This can be related to a certain scene, writing a description that is just out of reach or your idea just does not feel right. The one form of writer's block that I have the most issue with is the Fear of Perfection. Why did I capitalize it? Because this is a problem for me.

As a writer, I strive to put forth my best work. At times, it may seem like my writing changes or has a certain feel. Most of the time, that is on purpose. The fear that I have is that the reader will not grasp the reasons for these decisions. If you write with certain inflection or dialect, it is for a reason. Unfortunately, it is not always interpreted that way. Sometimes when you write something, people just see the words and think you are inexperienced or uneducated.

I spent a lot of time on the first four chapters of my book, ensuring that I get the tone correct, the writing is done well, and I do not dilute it with nonsense. By doing this, I have spent more time on these chapters that I care to admit. The worst part it, I am still not happy with it. I am now stuck in the editing cycle of trying to word these chapters to get my vision across. This could take hours, days, or weeks. That is a lot of time that I do not have to waste.

In situations like this, you are your worst enemy. It is time to take a step back, review my goals and what I am doing. I am going to take the time to read other authors that are an inspiration to me and draw from their experience. Striving to be the best writer you can it not a bad thing. If it prevents you from actually writing, that is counter-productive. I am going to accept the first four chapters as they stand and continue writing. It is time to let my creative brain tell the rest of the story. I always have the chance to rewrite later as the tone is worked out.

Another bit of advice I picked up is to let others help. Friends, family, and fellow writers are always willing to lend their eyes and opinions. Let them help and take the criticism. This will save you time and give you perspective. I truly believe that most people are trying to help and not be vindictive.

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