• Tyler E. C. Burnworth

Write Without Fear

If you're like me, the current state of the world has affected you and possibly your writing. I recently overcame a significant mental hurdle in my journey as a writer, and I want to share that realization with you:

Fear is rampant right now.

You don't need me to tell you that.

America is split between left and right, maskers and anti-maskers, those who believe red-heads have souls and those who don't. I'm no scientist. I DON'T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS!

It seems any new bit of news spawns at least two diametrically opposed camps of opinion that make war without end...until the next event.

HOWEVER: fear has its advantages, as anyone who has survived a near-death experience will tell you: fear excites the nerves, keeps you on edge, and helps you focus on the danger at hand.

Unless it doesn't. If fear is given too much power it consumes your focus. You go from a rational human being to a melty ball of wax, stuck in place figuratively or literally. You become stricken with paralysis.

In short, you freeze.

This is dangerous for you as a writer and as a person. It leads to writer's block. It stops you from finishing your 200,000 word WIP on Dragon snouts and all the types of precious metals they can sniff out at varying distances because [insert endless 'what if?' scenarios].

The basic thing to know about fear is this: it's about the unknown. Fear is always about an outcome you don't want. A failure of some kind. A broken relationship, a family betrayal, your brother finding your stash of pain pills from your root canal you've been saving for a rainy day. Johnny's drooling on my pillow watching The Walking Dead with his hands in his pants again!

Fear isn't real. Unless you allow it to be. So don't let it. When you sit down to write your first draft, you are the king, the almighty creator; for from nothing you spin a world and populate it with people and problems and ninja cats hell-bent on the hostile takeover of their human overlords. Or, y'know, whatever you write about.

Just get those words on the page.

You're stacking a brick wall, one brick at a time. After you've built the wall you can take a step back, see which bricks work and which need replaced (or just cast aside to the industrial roller pin, where they will be ground to dust and pebbles smaller than your pupil, never to serve a useful function again!).

For now, your task is to write. Worry about writing well after the first draft is done. The blank page is your mistress, your side piece, and like all things worth hiding, discretion is sacred. You do not need to share your first draft with another living soul (aside from Alexa, who reads everything as you write it, say it, or think it. A.I. overlords are the future. The future is NOW. Boop beep boop.)

You've heard it before, but the truth never gets old: write now, right now!

If you never give up, the possibilities are limitless.

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