Monday, July 12, 2010

Progressing Instead of Regressing in Our Writing Endeavors

How to Avoid Developing Writer’s Apprehension Disorder (WAD) Part 3: Worry

So far in our series we’ve discussed dread and anxiety, two potentially crippling symptoms of WAD. In this third and final segment, we’ll discuss worry. The Oxford American Dictionary describes worry as allowing one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles. Who of us is not guilty of doing that?

We worry about the pace of our novels, the structure, the setting and on and on. We also worry about the characters we create. Are they three dimensional or cardboard? Are they the same characters we created for another novel showing up on these new pages?

All authors struggle with these concerns. When it comes to developing characters, even bestselling author Elizabeth George states that, “Sometimes I think I have nothing new to say about anyone. I worry that I’ve already created these people before, in one book or another.” (216; Write Away, Harper Collins, 2004)

How do we control this urge to worry, causing us to slow down in our writing?

1. Move forward. Instead of wasting time worrying about various concerns, allowing them to cause us to regress as writers; we should postpone the matter. Keep writing the novel and save the concerns for the editing stage. You may come to find most of those concerns no longer exist.
2. A better idea would be to release yourself from the burden by praying and laying your worries at the Lord’s feet.
3. Another way would be to quote scripture. For example: “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life.”(Matt.6:27, NIV)
4. Finally, speak with a trusted friend who will help and encourage you.

Throughout scripture we see how senseless and time consuming it is to worry. What do you do to prevent yourself from worrying about completing the writing you have set out to do? Do you have any tips to help writers to stop worrying and continue writing?