It’s difficult to expose one’s weaknesses to the world. Fear and writing have long been wrapped up together for me. I love to write, have a passion to write and can’t imagine anything better as a career, and yet it’s terrifying. So terrifying that I’ve often quit writing, either for a small time or even for a couple of years. I always come back, though. I can’t stop writing because it’s in my soul. True writers know exactly what I’m talking about.
I once heard someone say if you can possibly do anything other than write, do it. I tried, believe me. There’s a lot of other things I love to do, such as paint and play the piano and knit. I’ll often fill my time with these things until I begin to feel restless again. I’ve learned what that means. It means my soul misses my true passion.
I used to think that if you were a “true” writer, then you’d find it easy to write. How wrong I was. It certainly doesn’t help that I’m married to Jonas Saul, one of the most prolific writers I’ve ever met. He makes it look easy. In the time we’ve been together–we met at a writer’s conference and got together two years later–he’s written over thirty novels. He’s a hard act to follow. What I’ve had to learn is that writing novels is a very personal journey. You can get inspiration from others, but you can’t expect your own journey to mirror anyone else’s.
My writing is intense. The stories I create are fraught with emotion and come from a very deep place. That place is my childhood. It was a traumatic and abusive time, which has given me a lot of material, but it’s like handling a very sharp sword. If I’m not careful, I just might cut myself while handling it. I’ve heard it said that some of the most gifted artists are tortured souls. I’ve got enough of that to qualify, but what they don’t say is how difficult it can be to draw from that well.
I’ve decided to face the fear of failure that has been holding me back. It hasn’t held me completely back as I’ve written three books and most of a fourth. I’ve tortured myself with feelings of inadequacy, which are a legacy of my childhood. No more. I will probably always feel that I’m not good enough, but my mind can override those feelings and realize that I have something to offer and besides, even if I don’t think the writing is good enough, I have to do it. It’s time to stop worrying about whether I should or not and just go ahead and write the words. I’m ready to face the fear.