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The (Un)Scary Book

Writing is scary.

Not the physical act of putting words on paper or making them appear on a screen – although those have their own set of problems attached. No, for me the scary thing is that writing means that someone besides me will see it. And when people see it, that means they will see everything that is wrong with it.

As I’m an anxious little ball of scaredy-cat: “everything wrong with it” basically amounts to “everything in it”. Every second sentence I’ve used the wrong word, or misspelled that one, or there’s a grammatical error. Maybe this sentence doesn’t make sense, or doesn’t to anyone outside of New Zealand. All these characters are boring, this one’s speech is way too purple, and everyone else sounds the same.

In short: the book is bad, I should feel bad, and while I’m at it I should just stop writing and never try again.

That feeling goes away when I chase a shiny new idea, but that’s the problem. When you’re only chasing shiny new ideas nothing ever gets finished. But then again, if you never finish something, you don’t have to show it to people and then they can’t tell you about how you’ve just wasted all that time and effort making something so awful.

So to the voice in my head that insists on being so unhelpful, I have one thing to say.

Anne Hathaway in "The Princess Diaries" repeating "Shut Up"

I am going to ignore you and keep on writing. Once again I shall keep on writing until I reach the end and you can’t stop me. Sure there will be edits and people making suggestions and a whole lot of rewriting after that, but I will have got a novel to that stage.

SO LET’S DO THIS!

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