Desperately Seeking Muse

Being a freelance writer is my dream, but I want to do more than just submit a few magazine articles.  In my eyes, I won't be successful until I can support myself writing.  My block developed a few years ago and has left me feeling very frustrated and unaccomplished.  Though I love writing, it seems I am now terrified of it, too.  This is actually what led me to EP.  I got to the point where doing any kind of writing was better than no writing at all and I have been pleasantly surprised at the amount of writing I can do on this site.  But it's not "real" writing.  Here it's more like I'm just communicating with friends, which has never been a problem for me. 

I love writing so much that I can't even decide which genre I want to focus on.  I can write fiction, poetry and essays.  I have the most confidence writing essays and I love spending the necessary hours researching whatever I'm writing about.  My desire is to write short stories.  I've never actually managed to finish working on one, though.

Writing is the only thing I have ever wanted to do, so failure isn't an option here.  With all of this pressure to succeed, is it any wonder I'm so scared of the blank page?

paperkit10 paperkit10
36-40, F
8 Responses Mar 19, 2009

Aside from all the suggestions here this took me several years of trial and error and frustration, I finally started a book that is one of two favorites of mine. The problem is, it started out at 64 pages and has mushroomed to 118 pages. It's a combination autobiography/biography told in a fictional form. It made it fun to write and brought back a lot of fond memories of a long ago time now in the misty past. The book took nearly a year to write, a lot of research on an area which is the focal point of the story has changed from 1974. Basically my old stomping grounds.
Try it, pick a point of your life which you can only talk about in an abstract manner, give it a fictional background, fictional characters, and just string together vignettes into a meaningful story that you'll be proud of. # # #

Smoke some pot by yourself, take a walk with a small notebook in your pocket, and don't think about thinking of something to write about. When you get an idea, write it down after you have fleshed it out a bit. The ideas will come if you do something to take your mind off of coming up with them!

Have you ever read Brenda Ueland's book "If You Want to Write?" I'd recommend getting it or borrowing it from the library. She's got some great exercises in there and addresses a lot of what causes writer's block. <br />
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In the end, I think you have to take the pressure off. Who says you have to choose a genre? Some of the best authors cover multiple areas. <br />
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Also, your focus is on the fear of failure ("failure isn't an option..."). What if you switched your focus to the love you have for it and the pleasure you take in it. Success will follow from there.

Hello paperkit10, thank you for writing this,I too want to be a writter,I want to start with an autobiography, about my crazy life, from there I don't know that I want to write anything else but that. Its all I think about, if you want to be a writer you should know what you want to write about. Think about who do you want to read it, then from there what do your reader want to read about, by now your creativtie should be tingling, than just let your words flow on the paper like you had been telling the story forever,,,,love and light mary

I have heard some writers say it is a necessity more than a hobby or career choice. They need to write like they need water.

you need to change your environment. Take a walk in the woods etc...seems to rejuvenate me and give me better ideas.<br />
And I hate to say it, but get rid of the computer for a while. Take a pen and paper instead (I prefer pencils) and go where there are no distractions. <br />
Good luck!

Writing is such a grueling process for me. I have written a few things just for fun, but couldn't imagine making a living at it (scary). <br />
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I kind of liken the process to my desire to do photography. It all sounds lovely and glamorous in theory (I envision being that great Life or National Geo staff photographer), but my good friend actually does it for a living and he spends all day in a studio taking pictures of freakin' watches... <br />
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Whey you take something you love so much and turn it into how you make your living, than FOR ME, I feel like I would just become a slave to it. <br />
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I want to take pictures of what I want to take pictures of (or write. or design... whatever)... not necessarily what a client may want.<br />
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This is probably way off base from what you are talking about... I have been known to ramble... <br />
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I wish you the best!

Meeting with people who shared a similar interest in writing on a regular basis is what helped me to overcome my apathy and get back into writing again.