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Fighting fear

I fear I’ve forgotten how to write. I mean, write write. You know, write stories and use my imagination and dream about being A Writer. I fear that I’ve lost that part of me; allowed it to die a quiet death, an unremarkable death. Instead of giving it all my attention as I dreamed I would when I was younger, I fear that I starved it, left it in the corner to fade quietly into the sunset.

Leaving me with only clichés and sad, tired dreams of writing.

I still tell people that I love to write but do I actually give that side of me any air to breathe? No. Everyday I promise myself that today is the day I’ll start again. And then I don’t because I’m scared. What if I give myself the time and nothing comes? Or something comes and it’s awful, terrible, worth only as material for an eye exam? What if I’ve starved my brain of air for so long that any imagination has packed up and left for greener pastures, leaving me with empty space?

I feel lost at sea, ignoring the creative side of me out of fear that I actually have no talent, no real creative side. So I sit in an office and surround myself with numbers and budgets and schedules and all things orderly and pretend that I don’t crave creativity. And keep it quiet because what happens if I blurt out that I like to write but then people read my writing and tell me it’s terrible? Or worse, don’t tell me but say absolutely nothing. That would be crushing.

How does one get past this fear?

I know what you’re going to say – just write. But I’m finding this fear almost paralysing. But you’re writing this, you say. I know, oh how I know. But this is not the writing I crave. Or the writing I think I crave rather. Because it’s been so long since I wrote anything requiring imagination and plotting and characters that perhaps I’ve forgotten how.

Or maybe I should simply retitle myself a Ranting Writer and complain all day. I seem to be able to do that okay!



Writer, editor, wife, mother. I snatch moments to myself to read between nappy changes, work and chasing a toddler who is determined to destroy ALL THE THINGS. Welcome.

One thought on “Fighting fear

  1. Mandy, I know exactly how you feel. There was a period of more than 10 years when I didn’t write anything creative. I was so afraid that I’d lost the ability, but I never did. It was always with me and now I find I’m writing even better than I did before. Like anything, it takes practice, but I believe in you. Everytime I read your blogs, I see the fictional creativity in your metaphors alone. Have faith in yourself and just try writing ANYTHING. Combat that fear! It is usually an unfounded one.

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