Sunday, January 19, 2014

Jen Frederick: My resolution for 2014 - write fearless fiction.

When you are writing, there is this little voice in the back of your head that says “you can’t type that” or “that plot line is insane, don’t go there” or “that is too emotional, draw back.” The internal editor can paralyze an author and it is often the source of an old, familiar enemy—writer’s block. You often read about authors creating masterpieces in just weeks and likely that stems from an author aggressively attacking her story, knocking down the internal editor, and just allowing her unfiltered thoughts to splash the page.

It’s all too easy to fall prey to doubt and let second guessing overtake your keyboard. It happens to me all the time. Those doubts often lead me to look at animals on Buzzfeed or my ever full Facebook news feed and I get no writing done. Because writing is such an isolated process it is easy to convince ourselves that we should exert more control and because we love our own words so much, bland sentences sound triumphant because…well, they are on the page.  

You have to tell your internal editor that she’ll get her chance to restrain you at the editing stage, but in the first drafts, be aggressive and fearless. A writer only gets a few pages to convince a reader she’s worth their time and their money. I’m trying to learn to write without fear and to be okay with exposing the deep emotional workings of characters because those are the types of things that readers really are aching to read—heartfelt and fearless stories. 

My resolution in 2014 is to write as fearlessly as possibly and to allow it all hang out on the page because holding back means I won't be connecting on as deep of a level as I could with my readers. As in the immortal words of Frozen, let it go!

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