Monday, June 15, 2009

The Fear

I've been reading a delightful blog called "Ruts and Grooves" lately. The author of this blog has been touching on some topics that have been stirring the molasses in my brain and helping me shake up some old skeletons, in a good way. She mentions how fear is a huge impediment when it comes to writing. The fear that there are flaws that you cannot conquer, the fear that your characters are flat, or your dialogue is boring, the fear that you won't know what to do once you've finished, all the things that cause you to stop typing and say "why even bother?"

To this end, I have set a goal for myself. I decided to attempt to write a thriller in three days. A feature length script, from concept to completion in three days. The goal of this project is not to write a masterpiece, rather just to write. By setting a time limit, I am forcing myself to ignore the fears that cause me to halt my progress, or abandon my attempt altogether. The only thing I hope to gain from this exercise is a ninety page screenplay. Quality is not even part of the equation.

Today is sitting number three. I am clearly not finished, however, the project has only been gaining appeal as I work on it. While I have to extend the time limit, I am still on track with the purpose behind the exercise, and I haven't rewritten a single line. I have not even granted myself the liberty to reread what I wrote in the previous sitting, except for a quick clarification.

I don't know how many sittings it will take, but I'm extending it to five for the time being. Even if the only thing I can even use it for is campfire kindling, I will be proud to say that I've completed a project, and exorcised my fear. Thank you to the author of "Ruts and Grooves" for putting your finger on a plaguing issue.

The fear is in the backseat. I may have no idea where we're going, but I'm behind the wheel and we're going to wind up somewhere different than where we began!


  1. I always try to keep in mind my favorite quote, from Eleanor Roosevelt: "You must always do the thing you think you cannot do." Keep on truckin'.

  2. Go Rachel!!! It's funny that you're doing this now - I've also got a "no time for fear" deadline this week and it's great. Look forward to hearing how it goes for you, and thanks for your support!