Freezing out of Fear of Failure
Hey, ya’ll I’m here with another book spotlight. This time it’s James Scott Bell’s, The Art of War for Writers.
I’ll start by saying when it comes to writing. I am my own obstacle, no one gets more in my way than I do. When I started my manuscript I wanted to write a great book, that was all me and spoke to people. Now that I’m editing my rough manuscript, and have to pick apart my work sentence by sentence, it’s painful. I put myself into my writing, I believe that’s how you create believable and compelling characters. Combing over every detail of my writing, finding plot holes, weak characters, and vague setting left me completely shook. It wasn’t that it was the worst thing I’ve ever read, it wasn’t even bad, but it wasn’t great, and I wanted to it to be. I was frozen with the unbelievable amount of work ahead and I didn’t even know where to start. So I became still, freezing out of fear of failure. I feel into a funk, and my mother noticed.
Side Note: My mom is one of by biggest supporters and I’ve already talked about how important it is to have a support community while you are writing. She bought The Art of War for Writers (TAOWFW) and told me to give it a read, and it really helped to turn my head space around.
The book is broken up into three parts, reconnaissance, tactics, and strategy. Reconnaissance focuses on the mental game of writing. For me, this was an integral part of thawing myself self out and getting back to my book. In a way, I was blown away by my book. I had surprised myself with my story and characters, it was exciting, but I also recognized that the whole book needed work. When you’re working on a house and you have a bunch of little jobs the price and time till completion can grow really quickly, and that what editing feels like. It’s a tiny tweak here and another one there, multiplied by 5000. It was overwhelming. TAOWFW addressed this issue for me and gave me some tools for getting out of my head and getting back to creating.
When I got back to my manuscript I found most of my writing errors were grammar and craft related. The second part of TAOWFW, tactics focusing on that. I’m still working through some of the exercises in this section. It’s been a helpful guideline for making the most out of the story I’ve made.
Lastly, TAOWFW’s third section is all about strategy and navigating the publishing industry. How to devote yourself to quality and make you and your work ready to enter that world.
I benefited the mot of section one, but the whole book really jumpstarted the editing process for me, for which Ivery thankful for, #thanksmom. Have you read TAOWFW, if so tell me about what you found most helpful in the comments below, or if you haven’t told me what books you’ve found really helpful when it comes to editing.