FEAR OF WRITING
If you are afraid of writing--and many people
are, especially when they first start out--these exercises may help
to lessen anxiety. Samples in the first exercises are from students
and workshop members.
2. Imagine yourself as a kindly, compassionate editor or teacher and give yourself advice on writing.
3. Write as badly as you can. Use every awkward construction, vague reference, or unclear concept you wish. Pile it on. Go on to double negatives, dangling modifiers, split infinitives. Lay into verbs that don't agree, references that don't connect, and the passive voice without end. Write across the margins and upside down on the page. Write until you like the feel of the pen in your hand, until you are having fun. Repeat this exercise every time you sense you are not in control of your writing.
4. Visualize your fear of writing: a teacher with fangs, a professor with a whip, yourself with a copy of Henry James, etc. Give them names and ask them their, origins.Talk to these fears. Find out what they want.Visualize a large closet outside of your writing room and, as you enter, put your fears about writing in this closet.
5. Ask yourself: "Who is it that is afraid?" Then ask: "Who is writing?"
6. Try to locate the fear in your mind.
Where does it come from, where does it dwell, where does it go when
7. Remember a peaceful scene after you sit down at your desk. Visualize
yourself as your favorite writer. Pick up your pen and begin.
8. Take 20 deep breaths before you start to write.
9. Meditate for a few minutes, following
your breath. Keep doing so as you begin to write.
10. Place statues from your shrine on your desk. Contemplate them as you write.