Yesterday my wife and I were talking about a story I’d written.
She thought it needed something else.
I told her, my gut instinct had been to take the story darker but was unnerved to do it.
This led me to think about other stories where I’d taken the safe route.
I thought about everything I’d written.
There were parts of numerous stories and some novels where I’d played it safe.
I chose not to do something in the story I wanted to do because there’s always a fear of doing something horrific.
Those moments came more often than I thought.
I don’t usually think about this but my wife insisted I go back and rewrite it darker.
As a writer, especially one who writes horror and fantasy, there’s a fear of judgment.
I worry that what I write may lead people to believe there is something wrong with me.
This has plagued me since I began writing in my teens.
As a teenager, it felt different because I worried how my parents would interpret what I wrote. I thought they’d want to sit me down with a therapist, hint, they did.
When I began to write again in my twenties, I felt what I wrote would worry my wife. I edited myself because of it.
After our discussion this week, I discovered I’m still afraid of what people think.
This makes it hard for me to move forward with improving as well as writing the stuff in my head.
There’s a quote, I’m not sure who it belongs to but I think its Stephen King, “Good writing is often about letting go of fear.”
I need to let go of the fear of judgment, move forward and write something that scares me for other people to see.
If I don’t, why am I writing at all?