Face Your Fear Friday – Episode 3

Welcome back to Face Your Fear Friday. This week’s entry will be short and sweet as real life offline is getting cramped for time. 

Every Friday, as we slide into the weekend, I issue a challenge that even the more frazzled writers can at least identify with, if not execute.
This week’s challenge is simple. Again, I repeat for your multitasking parents/writers, 


Just answer the following two questions-

1. What’s one aspect of the writer’s craft that you’ve yet to master, and are working towards this year?
For me, it’s being able to rediscover the joy of writing, without the pain of drafting and rewrites make me a neurotic pessimist, which I’m really not at my core, though lately I have to hit rock bottom to realize that.

2. Name one book that normally is not your thing, yet read it anyway, but liked?(NOTE: What you were FORCED to read in school doesn’t count, that’s a unique pressure few of us want to relive)

For me, it’s “The Thirteenth Tale” by Diane Setterfield. Well, I actually listened to the audiobook, but it’s a top notch production in its own right, and for writers who know me well, this was the ONLY way I’d experience this book the first go round, and  I want to experience again, this time on the page, but like my writer friend Kelly told me recently on her blog, “Books are books, no matter what the medium.”

I agree with this, if only in part to ease my own guilt, but as craft books and experienced writers will tell you often, there are times when reading on the page, opposed to listening to the audiobook or even the e-book isn’t the same.

Writers say all the time they notice things in print they don’t on computer screens when they edit books, so doesn’t the same apply to reading books, too? But truth be told, if not for audiobooks, I’d have enjoyed few stories in the last three years.

I personally need to combat this problem, because for me it is a problem, not all the books I want to read are available in audio form, and I do have a restrictive feel when I read books on the page, because trying to mime craft from it is not a particularly helpful, never mind joyous experience. A feeling that wasn’t always there.

 Craft books aside, I read for escape and solace, and I don’t find picking authors apart all that entertaining, and that mindset has ruined the reading experience for me, at least at this point and time. I’m trying not to be so absolute in my thinking, since some struggles do improve and lessen with time.

If you grapple with this literary tug of war as I do, please share in the comments below, if you’re the only one among your posse of writer friends who has this problem, I URGE you to comment below, because I’m there with  you, I really get it because I’m there myself, know you’re not alone.

You have until April 27th, 2012 before comments are closed. Thanks to all who commented in last week’s challenge, and I hope comments increase this week.

UPDATE (4/27/12): Commenting Closed.

Face Your Fear Friday – Episode 2

Face Your Friday is back, after a long (unplanned) hiatus. 

Just like with “Take A Chance Tuesday”, I want to make this weekly feature more accessible to those you juggling far more than I can or do, but at the same time remember, facing one’s fear’s take TIME. 

All Face Your Fear Friday’s about is taking the 
FIRST BABY STEPS to facing the writer fear of the week.

For example, if the theme was “Reading what Scares You” or “Name 5 writers you respect, even if their books are just not your thing, and why” all you have to do is admit and share a little from your personal experience. There are no right or wrong answers here.

Writers are all different, even if our goals overlap in the the general sense (Those of us who are struggling for their first SALE, be it book-length story or magazine piece, poem, etc. Already published writers trying to advance their career, etc) how we get there is varied, and some wait longer than others, but unless your naturally pragmatic in your thinking, you can feel alone in your frustration sometimes, especially if most of the writers you know are strong in areas your weak, and it’s those weak areas that might be holding your writing back. 

Sometimes simply admitting to a fear, however off the wall it may be, is the first step to getting better at facing that fear and pushing past it to achieve your writer dreams and goals. You have to acknowledge your fear is REAL, no matter what anyone tells you, many writers I know don’t feel the same level of frustration about writing YA level fiction, and don’t have problems writing nonfiction, but these are barriers for ME, in the same way some of those pragmatical writers don’t feel as in tune with their imagination as I do,

While that makes critiquing each other’s work hard, we can appreciate what the other does better than us, and its imperative that support goes both ways.

With that said, let’s get into this week’s challenge.

All you have to do is answer the following question-

“If you could name ONE writer skill you could magically enhance, what would it be and why?”

My answer: Better Query Letters, Better Query Letters, Better Query Letters!

Why? Because these letters are becoming all the more vital, but I HATE writing them regardless, because it’s easy to feel like the most hapless writer on Earth because they have to be so professional without being soulless, and anyone who takes this lightly will be sorry, that’s as much speaking from my personal experience as it is a friendly warning.

Now it’s your turn! Share you answers to this week’s challenge in the comments below.

Please keep your answer PG-13 and below, and please stay on topic (No “I don’t have time to comment” type comments) comment when you do have time, or try again for next Friday’s challenge.

I moderate the comments on T.A.A. and will not approve posts that don’t follow the guidelines.

Your answers must be posted by Friday, April 20th, 2012, Noon EST, think of it as a mild time challenge, since for some of us, admitting to fear or weakness is a BIG DEAL, and sharing it among our fellow writers can help take the fear away, or at least bring it down to less traumatic levels, and we may even find a precious gem of advice, insight or a comrade-in-revisions (Comrades in Arms for writers, get it?) that will serve us well for the future.

Anyway, see you here next Friday.

UPDATE (4/20/12): Commenting Closed.

Face Your Fear Friday – Episode 1

Today’s Friday, and that means it’s time to, “Face Your Fear.”

Every Friday, you’ll be given three days to meet a personal goal, and report back on what you learned, even if you don’t complete your goal as planned, do you best to learn at least one thing that will help your writing process in the long run. If abundant success comes from countless failures, you will learn something worth learning, even if you didn’t meet the goal as intended.

Be kind to yourself. Pick a goal that you know won’t require more you can give in three days, something you know your writing lacks, and won’t inherently require a certain kind of study or focus you know you can’t achieve in that short a time frame.

For example, most writers can’t draft a book or even short story in a day or two, however bad, but we can study up on craft and catch up on some market or story research.

Here are the rules (Only 3)

1. Pick a challenge that will aid in honing a weak point in your writing process. Small enough to finish over three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday before Midnight)

2. Comment on this post before Midnight about the writing challenge you’re giving yourself and why.

3. Report back here again in the comments on Monday before 1:00 AM Tuesday, EST. What was your weekend challenge? Did you complete complete the challenge, and if not, what did you learn from your challenge that will help your writing in the long run?

To all those who join me in this challenge, I wish you all luck.

So go and face that fear!