Monday, September 07, 2009


I want to share an interesting industry blog I ran across when I got a recommendation from a friend. The Warriorwriter's Blog has a wonderful post today about fear. I think it's something every writer has dealt with at some point in their career. It really hit home with me this morning because I've been struggling...and not sure why. I thought maybe it was because my life is so chaotic with the different directions I'm being pulled in right now. That may play a big part of my issues with not writing, but I think fear could be a part of it.

If you've ever had writer's block, she urges you to dig into your brain for the reason why. She talks about writers avoiding rewrites, and I can tell you that I am definitely NOT guilty of that. If anything I can't turn off my anal internal editor. But I think the one thing that struck me as interesting was she mentioned changing genres as a symptom of fear. Do I agree? I wonder. I've wanted to change genres a couple of times. I thought that came from the unknown though, not knowing where my voice fits and wanting to experiment. Is it fear of pushing through my issues on a current ms?

Good question. What do you do when you're blocked? Have you ever wanted to change genre? If you get a her post for today.


Terri Tiffany said...

Thanks Chelle--I'll go over there. I wrote romance first and now I am doing women's fiction cause I wanted more in my book than a love story but still have love in the book.

Natalie said...

Wow, I've changed genres like 5 times. I guess I must be really afraid of something! I've never heard that changing genres might be a sign of fear but I think there is probably some truth to it. I also think that when you are early in your writing life you've got to try writing different genres until you find the one that fits. And people can certainly genre hop and still be fantastic, look at Suzanne Collins.

Chelle Sandell said...

Terri ~ I have a couple of writing friends that feel the way you do. They like to focus on the character instead of the relationship itself.

Natalie ~ LOL. I thought that too. I began writing toward category, but not sure where my voice is. I'm trying out a historical. I wondered if that meant I was afraid of revising and resubbing my category.

Lynnette Labelle said...

I don't agree. If I'm blocked it's because something's not working and I haven't figured out what it is or how to fix it. And switching genres = fear? I don't buy that. I agree with you. Sometimes, we don't know what will suit us best until we try. For me, I started with YA because I was teaching and was in that world. Once I left that career behind and actually had more adult conversations, I switched to what I read: romantic suspense.

Great topic though.

Lynnette Labelle

Chicki Brown said...

Most times when I'm blocked it's because my mind is distracted with personal stuff. Thankfully I'm never blocked for longer than a day or two.

As far as fear goes, I know a girl who took ten years to write her memoir and now that it's finished she won't actively submit it. I believe she's afraid of what will happen when her family reads it.

Susan R. Mills said...

Great post! Fear is detrimental, isn't it? I know my writer's block is often fear-related. I try to get over it by telling myself that I'm writing because I love it, and what ever happens next is just icing on the cake.

Jessica Nelson said...

I think I've definitely felt fear before, and I do think it's responsible for my procrastination with rewrites. LOL
I haven't wanted to change my main genre (romance) but I have thought about the subgenres. :-)

I saw your face on my followers so came to say hey. :-)

Debora said...

I'd say the fear of finishing and having to send it out can be a fear for many. If they keep tinkering and switching and never really finishing, they never really have to face that rejection.

But if you want the brass ring, you have to swallow that fear and send your baby out into the world.

Chelle Sandell said...

Thanks for stopping by, Jessica!

I think that's what I liked about the post. Could my issues be fear? I'm definitely not afraid to submit. Well...maybe I fear the responses from my crit partners. ;) But maybe my fear is that I'm wasting my time with the genre I'm writing in.

MeganRebekah said...

What a great post!
I've never thought about it like that, but it makes perfect sense that trying to change genres (or even new WIPs) is a telltale sign of fear. Makes me glad that I've finally buckled down to finish my current WIP without starting anything else!
I just found your blog, but really enjoy it!

Chelle Sandell said...

Thanks! I LOVE to make new friends!! I've done the same thing with an old ms. I was told by an asst ed to send in a partial after I make the changes.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for mentioning the blog. It's greatly appreciated. The funny thing is that I had A LOT of comments generated off my assertion that switching genres could be a symptom of fear. Now, any time there is that kind of reaction, I know I've hit a pain point. I've made people defensive--and we tend to hide our greatest weakness behind our greatest defenses.

I suppose I wanted to stop by to 1)say super thanks! and 2) to make something clear. I do not believe we do things in a vacuum. There is always a WHY. And I like knowing WHY I make certain decisions. Now, changing genres could be something as simple as --"This fantasy stuff is way more fun to read than write. I am so sick of WORLD-BUILDING!" but it also could be more. I know that thriller was always my favorite genre, but I never wrote it until recently. I kept changing genres and wrote anything BUT thriller...until I realized my WHY. FEAR. On the Warrior Writer blog is an article called "Facing Down the Beast" that tells the story in greater detail, but in a nutshell? My father's tragic death and fear of facing that pain kept me from writing the one genre I loved.

Again, thanks for the mention, and I enjoyed reading your blog as well. This is my forth pass through. :D Happy writing!